Denny’s Embraces the Fat of the Land With ‘Baconalia’

Restaurant chain and lead creative shop push an offer of seven new dishes

Completely blowing off the healthy marketing trend, Denny’s is smothering itself in bacon.

Through a mixture of traditional ads, blog posts, a hub on and Web-based contests, the restaurant chain and lead creative shop Gotham have pushed “Baconalia,” a two-month “limited-time offer” of seven new dishes. Nitrate lovers can feast on everything from bacon flapjacks and bacon meat loaf to a triple-bacon sampler, and, wait for it, a maple bacon sundae.

The Web hub takes a tongue-in-greasy-cheek approach, offering Baconalia-themed holiday songs and cards, a video loop of sizzling strips, bacon chatter culled from Twitter, and a four-step diagram of a dance called The Sizzle. In a corresponding TV spot, bacon briefly explodes on the screen like fireworks on the Fourth of July.

The pork pitch is the latest installment in the chain’s “America’s diner is always open campaign,” which positions Denny’s as the ultimate purveyor of comfort food. “We’re a brand that’s about fun food,” says CMO Frances Allen. “Of course we would invent the celebration of bacon.”

Now all we need is someone to invent the “celebration of Lipitor.”