Cheap, good and ready in 15

Swiss Chalet wants to bite into the market share of its QSR competitors with its new Dine-in 15-Minute Lunch Guarantee promo.

Swiss Chalet wants to bite into the market share of its QSR competitors with its new Dine-in 15-Minute Lunch Guarantee promo.

Tracy Eckebrecht, Mississauga, Ont.-based Swiss Chalet’s VP marketing, explains that the campaign helps the chain take on not only other casual restaurants, but also its fast food opponents by offering more wholesome food than the latter typically offer at competitive prices.

The campaign includes POP, street teams that invite passersby to speedily complete everyday tasks to win a free lunch, two radio spots featuring people who have won speed-related titles like racecar driving but still can’t compare to the speed of lunching at Swiss Chalet, and a microsite,, which houses an advergame.

So far, Eckebrecht says anecdotal feedback from guests and operators is very positive.

We asked Sean MacPhedran, creative marketing strategist at Ottawa-based interactive agency Fuel Industries, and Joe Piccolo, group CD at Toronto-based FCB Canada, to weigh in on whether this campaign satisfies their palates.


SM: They’ve done a great job of communicating speed across all campaign elements. Focusing on this key benefit [speed], rather than making it secondary to the food, is a smart move and a good way to facilitate that decision.

JP: I’m a big believer in brands and brand consistency. So, while I like the overall idea of this 15-minute lunch, why am I left feeling that it just doesn’t match Swiss Chalet’s brand character? Don’t get me wrong, there’s some good thinking here. I really like the overall strong graphics. But I don’t feel each component is as synergistic as possible.


SM: The two spots are well produced and both of them deliver the message of fast, tasty chicken at lunch time against interesting stories. The characters have great personalities, particularly the racecar driver in Chicken Drive. His crying was perfect. I think the tag would have benefited if it was a bit slower, but overall they’re great.

JP: While I think they’re funny, they don’t seem to

get into any real insights about being really time crunched and how that’s translating into how I’m eating now because of it.


SM: They showed creativity and chutzpah by taking this route instead of putting together a contest. It provides the 15-minute message in context for their target market (9-5ers). From a design perspective, it could be tighter, and while the game is cute I don’t know if I could really call it engaging. Investing a little more heavily in the site design would have made it a winner. Great idea.

JP: It’s cute but I question the thinking behind it. The campaign is talking about being time starved yet they have us playing a game that most of us certainly wouldn’t have time for.


SM: It’s gravy baby! Clean and simple with a clear message – perfect for people who are in a rush. Bring me some chicken!

JP: I really like the POP and all the graphics. They do a great job of incorporating the Swiss Chalet brand cues. It really stands out and has a very fast yet quality feel about it.


SM: It sounds great – and everyone loves a free lunch. I have an irrational love of street teams – it’s fun to see people directly interacting. Again, they’re on message in a creative way, communicating the key benefit of speedy service.

The creds:

Client – Swiss Chalet:

Josh Homewood, regional marketing manager; Vijay Krishnan, national marketing and promotions manager; Tracy Eckebrecht, VP marketing

Ad agency – ACLC:

Steve Conover, CD; Jason Locey, copywriter; Glenn Stanley Paul, SVP client services; Rizwan Devji, account supervisor; Dave McCurdy, account executive; broadcast producer, Karen Blazer; Mike Rosnick, director

Brand activation/strategy/interactive agency – Millenium:

Brad Snyder, Tammy Blake, Bert Blake, account team

Experiential agency – Inventa Sales and Promotions:

Ryan Ward, account manager; Patrick Kavanagh, director