El Chico Has Fun In Tuna, Texas

The El Chico Restaurants chain here is launching new test marketing today that employs the good folks of Tuna, Texas, in radio and television spots.
The citizenry of the fictional town–the setting for long-running comedies Greater Tuna and A Tuna Christmas–come to life to tout new menu items at the Tex-Mex restaurant that has been revamping itself over the past two years.
The ads were created by Poppywriter, the boutique agency run by Dallas freelancer Poppy Sundeen, who has also created work for Tia’s Tex-Mex restaurants. Featured in the ads are the two stars of small-town Texas send-ups: Joe Sears and Jaston Williams.
“I was just talking to the El Chico people in December when I watched the Tuna Christmas special . . . and the idea just came to me,” said Sundeen. Two 30-second TV ads and a pair of 60-second radio spots will air over the next month in Dallas, Oklahoma City and Shreveport, La., according to El Chico marketing coordinator Fran Bolin. Radio ads will air in Central Texas. Billings were undisclosed.
Last January, new El Chico owner Cracken, Harkey, Street & Co. divided marketing duties among four Dallas ad shops: Poppywriter (creative), Gugel Advertising (media), Lidji Design Office (creative) and Van Saxon & Associates (strategic planning and research).