Hooters Kills Competition With ‘Owl’ Campaign
It was a ‘man’ thing till now but rising competition among 'breastaurants' and plummeting sales figures have forced Hooters, the original ‘breastaurant’ to rethink its marketing strategy. It is aiming to kill its competition, posed by similar restaurants like ‘Twin Peaks’ and “Tilted Kilt”, by targeting customers other than men. The restaurant has employed owl puppets and included salads in its menu to bring in women and younger customers. Besides, there is much more to make new customer groups interested.
The ‘Owls’ Speak
The new marketing campaign, launched by the restaurant, will feature two owl finger puppets, who will have “the conversation you always have” while deciding whether you want to go to Hooters or not. The two puppets represent the angel and the devil. The ‘Eastbound & Down’ is the agency behind this campaign and writer/director Jody Hill is the man who has wielded the megaphone for this project. The restaurant has launched a series of ads under this campaign, all of which are featuring the owl puppets. One of the representatives of the ad agency said, “Often people don’t know how to broach the subject of going to Hooters with friends, co-workers or even spouses.” The marketing campaign will include TV spots, billboards, Radio spots, and social-media networking sites. The chain is also planning to enlist celebrities to appear in its marketing campaign but that will happen later. Describing the campaign, Hill said, “It really is the conversation you always have (about Hooters). We wanted to bring this out to the forefront and just talk about how fun this is.”
New Food Items
Besides the advertisements, the restaurant is making basic changes in its menu too. The most prominent change is inclusion of close to “30 salads” on the menu, as well as varieties of ‘burgers and chicken wings. The salad-blast on the menu is obviously to target the women customers, who will look for healthier options to eat, unlike the men who would prefer to spend their time gazing at bootilicious waitresses while getting their hands dirty with some oily chicken wings or sauce-laden burgers. With all these changes, Hooters is hoping that wings or boobs are not the only things for which you visit them. Now, if that sounds interesting, then you should, probably, read further.
The First Step
The marketing campaign launched by the restaurant chain is its first ‘fully integrated campaign’ and it comes at a time when the company is in the middle of a five-year plan to consolidate its presence in the market. Dave Henninger, CMO of Hooters, explains, “Historically the lion's share [of the brand's] position was all about the girls. It's worked relatively well, but we see ourselves in a bigger place than that.” Henninger further states that the chain realized that if it had to appeal to a younger group of customers as well as women, it had limited options on the menu and that needed to be changed. However, that doesn’t mean that the restaurant chain has forgotten its loyal men customers. For them, the restaurant will introduce new varieties of chicken wings. Henninger also said that the company was not seriously worried about competition from other ‘breastaurants.’ He said, “We are the major player and we have a unique brand of hospitality. We’re the iconic brand.”
While Hooters is going big on the media campaign, it is not ready to share figures. According to certain reports, the restaurant chain garnered an expenditure of $6.6 million in 2011 alone. And for its latest campaign, it has increased its spending limit by 25% of the earlier amount. Whatever the campaign may give it back, the restaurant is not low on confidence and that is something to count upon.
Image Courtesy: rogerpielkejr