CASSIES Silver: Boston Pizza becomes a wing expert

Taxi’s creation of the Flatties & Drummies Association make wings the fastest selling item on the menu.
BP_NibNub

SILVER: Events, Seasonal and Short-Term

Situation Analysis: When you’re called Boston Pizza it’s understandable that wings might not be your signature item. But to be competitive in the world of sports bars, a reputation for great wings is a must. Knowing this, Boston Pizza set out to improve its wing product. The objective, for the April-May 2011 NHL playoff season, was to increase wing sales by 50%.

Strategy & Insight: A lot of the competition behaved like used car salesmen, yelling from the rooftop about their deals and promotions. Boston Pizza would take a different approach – one that added to the brand rather than eroded the margin. As for messaging, virtually every brand claimed to have won a truckload of trophies for their “world class” wings. But what were these wings being judged on? This question triggered the advertising idea.

Execution: The campaign ran from April to June 2011, with a heavy focus on NHL playoff hockey. TV introduced the one true (yet fictional) chicken wing authority in the form of Carl Carlson, president of the newly created Flatties & Drummies Association, a group dedicated to the appreciation of great wings. Carl waxed poetic about the Boston Pizza product, and this continued in-store and online, where “Flatties & Drummies” announced that Boston Pizza had won the coveted 2011 Crystal Wingy Award for Best New Wing.

Results: After only three weeks in market, the TV campaign had reached a 66% ad breakthrough rating. Wing sales were also well ahead of the 50% objective – so much so that wings became the fastest selling item on the menu, and Boston Pizza ran out of product.

Cause & Effect: In addition to immediate sales, success in social media was an interesting indicator of how effective the Flatties & Drummies campaign was. All online media drove to Facebook, where Boston Pizza’s national Facebook page garnered 14,649 new fans, an increase of 585% over the previous three months. As for spending, pricing and distribution, they were all in line with year-ago values, and although the product was definitely improved, it’s fair to say that this alone (without the advertising effort) would not have caused the results.

Credits:

Boston Pizza International
EVP, marketing: Steve Silverstone
VP, marketing: Joanne Forrester
marketing manager, digital: Ryan Ashton

Taxi Toronto
ECD: Darren Clarke
Senior AD: Niall Kelly
AD: Gint Bruveris
senior writer: Jono Holmes
group account director: Edith Rosa
account manager: Emma Toth
planning director: Jeff Dack
producer: Alina Prussky

Partner
media agency: PHD
client service director: Zoryana Loboyko
group account director: Scott Henderson
senior digital media strategy: Barbara Glover
account manager: Stephany Sousa

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