Richards Group Repositions Golden Corral

DALLAS The Richards Group introduces a new positioning for Golden Corral in a $15 million campaign breaking Jan. 12.

The Dallas independent agency’s new work focuses on patrons of the family-style restaurant, a departure from the shop’s campaign of the last three years that centered around “Frying Pan Man,” a tiny figure armed with a skillet who served as a spokesperson for the chain.

This is the first work creative group heads Jimmy Bonner and Rob Baker have created for the client. “The launching pad of the campaign was that no matter where you come from or what you have in your bank account, everyone deserves a good meal,” Baker said. “Golden Corral has such a wide variety of foods that will appeal to everyone.”

In one of five 30-second spots targeting value-oriented people ages 25-54 and families, a puppy is chewing on a pair of pantyhose hanging from a rack. From there, he goes from wrestling with a feather boa to running out the front door. In the next shot, a woman asks, “Where are my keys?” as her son sits outside stroking the puppy. As he presses on the dog’s belly, the parked car nearby begins to beep as it unlocks and locks itself. A voiceover then says, “Dog owners. They deserve a good meal.”

The four remaining spots follow the same formula with different characters who each “deserve a good meal.” “Front Tooth” features a dad trying to sneak a quarter under his son’s pillow, but ends up getting hurt in the process. “Flat” shows a nice guy changing a woman’s tire before he gets locked out of his own car. “Super Mom” follows a mom through her day of disaster to the point where her husband comes home and says, “Whoa, what a day! What’s for dinner?” “Clueless Dad” is a variation of “Super Mom,” but compares the dad’s easy day at work to the mom’s not-so-easy day at home.

The effort introduces the tag, “Everyone deserves a good meal,” which replaces “When will it hit you?”

The TV ads will break in more than 40 spot markets, including Atlanta, Baltimore and Houston, and will run through late 2004. Radio is also included in the effort.

The Raleigh, N.C.-based company spent $20 million on media last year through October, according to Nielsen Monitor-Plus. Horizon Media in New York handles media.