Dave & Buster’s Goes National

Entertainment restaurant chain Dave & Buster’s launches its first national advertising
campaign June 12.
The $9 million branding effort, which includes television, radio and print components, will run in 25 markets where Dave & Buster’s eateries are located.
Created by Dallas-based BrannForbes, a subsidiary of Brann-Worldwide, ads revolve around the client’s new theme, “Big time fun.”
The initiative is targeted at 25- to 44-year-old males.
“When we opened up in 1982 in Dallas, Dave & Buster’s was the talk of the town, just like it is today in San Jose [Calif.], where we just opened,” said vice president of marketing Stuart Myers. “But that happened 17 years ago in Dallas, and the folks that were in our primary target market have aged . . . They’re not the folks going out on a regular basis anymore. So we needed to
create the next generation of D&B customers.”
The Dallas-based chain increased sales 35 percent in 1999 to $247 million, with a 61 percent increase in net income. That gain, however, came from new restaurant openings, while existing store sales remained flat. Wall Street concerns about this trend have contributed to the company’s current low stock price of 6 5/8, which is near its 52-week low.
By boosting sales at existing stores, D&B executives hope to improve investor confidence as well as attract new customers.
Southwest Media Group in Dallas will handle planning and buying on the new campaign, which also includes sports team sponsorships and outdoor elements.