CASSIES Gold: Earls brings lobster to the masses


Events, Seasonal & Short-Term

Situation Analysis » Premium casual restaurant chain Earls has been in Canada for more than 30 years, but had become a little tired in the eyes of its consumers, and share was eroding. Earls needed a makeover, and it made sense to start by reinvigorating one of its oldest promotions – Earls’ annual Lobster Event in October.

Strategy & Insight » Earls attracted a fun-loving crowd, but that wasn’t how they saw lobster. For many of them, a lobster dinner was a pricey, high-end affair, hard to eat and downright intimidating. Given this, traditional “food and price” advertising would not be enough. Instead, Earls had to find a way to break down the intimidation barrier, and make lobster fun.

Execution » This was built around the idea of “Snap, Twist and Pull,” using eye-catching graphics in the brand’s colours. For example, wild postings had a removable tab so consumers could practice their pulling skills, while street teams taught claw-cracking. And when people turned up at the event, they were compelled (in a fun way, of course) to wear a plastic bib with step-by-step directions on how best to eat their lobster. All of this was concentrated in the 10 days before the event and the three-day event itself, with fully integrated materials in restaurant and OOH.

Results » The client said the 2012 lobster event was by far the most successful in history. Same-store lobster sales were up +111% vs. year-ago,
and promotional partner Alexander Keith’s saw a 54% lift.

Cause & Effect » The only variable versus the prior year was the “Snap, Twist and Pull” campaign.


Client: Earls Restaurants
VP marketing: Monique Gomel
Marketing manager: Taili Coates
Agency: Leo Burnett
CCO: Judy John
CD: Lisa Greenberg
Group CD: Sam Cerullo
CW: Marty Hoefkes
AD and designer: Mike Morelli
Print producer: Lorenda Bennett
Broadcast producer: France Piacenta
SVP account management: David Kennedy
Group account director: Allison Ballantyne
Account executive: Angelica Bennett
VP of strategic planning: Brent Nelson
Digital project manager: Cimmeron Kirk
Project manager: Lyndsay Cattermole
Starcom media planner: Devyn Perry


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