Publicis Flips New Menu Fare for TGI Friday’s

Burgers turn up in the oddest places in a new product launch from TGI Friday’s.

The Dallas-based restaurant group on Monday introduced its 100% Natural Angus Burger with an estimated $12-15 million ad campaign.

Eight television spots from the Dallas office of Publicis in Mid-America feature the Angus Burger mysteriously appearing in the hands of consumers.

A toll booth attendant receives a hamburger from a passing car; a suburbanite finds a burger tossed on his lawn in place of the morning paper; and a perplexed magician pulls the all-American foodstuff out of a hat. In one vignette, a hand gropes around outside a shower to encounter a burger perched atop a pile of fluffy towels.

“We have a new Natural Angus Burger. And we’d like everyone to try one,” states the voiceover.

The new campaign is a departure from previous efforts by Publicis, which typically focused on convivial scenes of people eating inside the restaurant. Publicis has held the TGI Friday’s account since 1995.

“The previous stuff was more of a branded effort that set a mood for the restaurant,” said agency creative director Ted Barton. “This was all around the burger. Once we opened our minds to that, we could make it feel more like an event.”

“You don’t have products of this magnitude very often and when you do, you need to make a big splash,” said client senior vice president John Gilbert, who compared the importance of the campaign to the launch of the firm’s Jack Daniel’s Grill menu several years ago.

The new organic burger is part of an effort to refresh the TGI Friday’s brand, which is expected to undergo a complete overhaul by year’s end.

TGI Friday’s, owned by Carlson Restaurants, operates and franchises 671 eateries worldwide.