CASSIES Bronze: Boston Pizza scores with all-meat wings

The restaurant chain re-invents the boneless chicken wing amid much fanfare.

BRONZE: Events, Seasonal & Short-Term

Situation Analysis When you’re called Boston Pizza (BP), it’s understandable wings might not be your signature item. But if you want to compete with sports bars, great wings are a must. So over 2010 and 2011, BP significantly upgraded its product, making wings the fastest-selling menu item in the restaurant’s history. It was important to continue the momentum, so after a lot of research and development, the big news for 2012 would be boneless chicken wings. But these were already offered by competitors, so how could BP make its boneless offerings feel like something new.

Strategy & Insight As it turned out, boneless wings are a contentious subject with wings enthusiasts. Some say they are nothing but glorified chicken nuggets. To be seen as a leader it was better to avoid the debate altogether. Instead, BP reinvented the category by launching a major discovery – the world’s first “All Meat Wings.”

Execution Just in time for the 2012 NHL playoffs, BP introduced the charismatic Terry Peters, an internationally renowned fictional food innovator (equal parts Tony Stark, Kenny Powers and Steve Jobs) to introduce All Meat Wings. He was active on LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook and Xbox, and also interacted with bloggers. On television, Terry launched All Meat Wings like a new Apple product, with 60-, 30- and 15-second spots. Radio and POS followed suit.

Results By the end of the nine-week launch period, wings sales rose 55% compared with a year earlier, and “All Meat Wings” accounted for more than half of all wings sold.

Cause & Effect Spending was on par with historical efforts, and there was no out-of-the-ordinary pricing or promotional activity. Product obviously played a role, but given that the product was, in essence, the familiar boneless chicken wing, it’s reasonable to assume the advertising caused the sales response.


Client: Boston Pizza International
EVP marketing: Steve Silverstone
VP marketing: Joanne Forrester
Associate marketing manager: Tanya Thomson
Agency: Taxi Canada
ECD: Darren Clarke
ACD: Niall Kelly
AD: Scott Johnson
Writer: Chris Duffett
Designer: Brooke Hennessy
ACD interactive: Dave Luxton
Group account director: Edith Rosa
Account director: Anna Halfpenny
Account managers: Tamara Gervais, Natalie Street
Agency planner: Andre Louis
Connections planner: Mike Rumble
Digital strategist: Adam Brain
VP, integrated production: Cynthia Heyd
Broadcast producer: Ben Sharpe
Print producer: Jen Shapiro
Interactive producer: Lidiya Naydek
Illustrators: Esther Sanchez, Brooke Hennessy
Mac artist: Karthika Balendran
Production designer: Leslie Babin
Production company: Sons & Daughters
Editing company: Posterboy Edit
PR agency: High Road Communications
Post production company: Axyz
Audio production company: Grayson Matthews
Media company: PHD