Marc Keys on Checkers’ Speed

The basic need to eat and the more modern desire to do it quickly are the simple premise of Marc USA’s debut ads for Checkers Drive-In Restaurants.

Television spots in the $10 million campaign are tagged, “You gotta eat.”

“People just don’t have time, and there’s times when they just want a good, fast bite,” said Ed Fine, executive vice president and chief creative officer at the Pittsburgh shop.

“No matter how many soccer moms, no matter how many kids they have to pick up, no matter the stress and strain in your life, you still have to eat. This is the role we wanted to play in people’s lives,” he said.

Marc won the account of the Clearwater, Fla.-based chain in November. It topped Berenter Greenhouse & Webster in New York and Austin Kelley Advertising and Fitzgerald & Co., both in Atlanta. Three-year incumbent Crispin Porter & Bogusky in Miami did not defend the business.

The campaign will run in 28 markets in the Southeast and Midwest. In the spots, which include 30-second versions with back-end promos, original music Fine termed “rap-hop” backs shots of people doing activities like skateboarding and dancing while eating Checkers food.

Specifics of the food are not an element of the ads. Lyrics focus on the need for food and the promise, “We’ll get you in; we’ll get you out.”

“It’s more about a role we play in your life than how many sesame seeds are on our golden bun,” Fine said.

The TV spots break Jan. 10. The campaign also includes print, radio and point-of-purchase.