Logan to Create Restaurant’s First TV Advertising

A Web-based business idea helped Logan Marketing & Communications win the $1 million advertising account of Semolina Restaurants.

When the New Orleans shop heard the eatery would be putting its account into review, staffers cooked up an online notion—takeoutsemolina.com.

The creative proposal worked on two levels: It gave LM&C a chance to demonstrate its thinking prior to the formal review and generated an invitation to pitch against five-year incumbent Keating McGee, Peter A. Mayer Advertising and one other undisclosed New Orleans agency.

According to LM&C president King Logan, the company’s brand had become diffused. Stressing the chain’s paradoxical qualities, Logan emphasized the differences among the franchise’s 15 individual restaurants.

“The customer characteristics vary greatly,” said Logan. “Even the six stores in New Orleans are all in different neighborhoods, so one plan doesn’t fit all.”

Research revealed that customers for each of the Italian restaurants come from a five-mile radius. The overall branding strategy therefore calls for mini-marketing plans for each location.

“The idea is to consult carefully with each manager on their market and their relationship within the community,” said Logan.

Logan made up for his agency’s lack of category experience by hiring Cameron Grisbaum, whose background in supervising McDonald’s franchise marketing gave LM&C some valuable insights.

“She realized that some of the most successful campaigns were developed by franchisees who realized the unique dynamics of their own restaurants,” said Logan.

A campaign, titled “Semolina, adventures in pasta,” breaks this fall on regional television. It will be the New Orleans-based client’s first TV exposure. Previous advertising was limited to print and radio.

“Another key point in the presentation was the need to use TV,” said Logan. “It’s the best way to reach their potential market as a family restaurant against Applebee’s, Olive Garden and Outback.”