Sizzler Tries Youth Movement

LOS ANGELES In the midst of a slump in the quick-serve and fast-casual dining restaurant categories, independent Ground Zero has rebranded the Sizzler chain to “focus on food, being there to eat and big portions, celebrating what they stand for,” said Court Crandall, founder and creative partner at the shop.

The goal of the new campaign, which Crandall will introduce to Sizzler franchisees in Las Vegas later this week, is “to take Sizzler’s values and convey them in a way that is relevant and contemporary,” he said.

All told, the push includes six viral videos, some of which Crandall directed himself, marking the first time the commercial and film writer (his movie credits include Old School) has helmed spots.

“I did all of them without a partner, and because I thought these would be based on performance more than exciting camera angles, I shot them on HD,” Crandall said. “As I was in preproduction I thought, ‘God, I should have hired someone else.’ But on the day of shooting, I liked it.”

The viral clips position Sizzler as a chain for younger people “who have been embarrassed to say that they’re going there,” Crandall said. Actors and actual consumers are featured in the clips, which initially break as paid media on MySpace and Facebook.

The gimmick of the videos is that nutty people will give you their two-cents worth at the drop of a hat, but for a penny more Sizzler will give you something you want.

The new tagline is, “Where America comes to eat.”

Sizzler spends about $20 million annually on ads.