New York Fries stops going naked

A mall-focused radio and influencer campaign celebrates the return of premium dips to the QSR.

New York Fries has launched a new campaign to get mall-goers to stop eating their fries “naked.”

Once again utilizing the voice of Canadian acting icon Gordon Pinsent, the ads describe a man’s habit of eating fries “naked,” despite the looks and awkward situations he might see on the subway or beach. But he sees what he’s been missing, now that New York Fries has three new aioli dips for him to try.


Juniper Park\TBWA led creative on the campaign, which also includes in-store and digital elements.

New York Fries had previously made its own premium fry dips 18 years ago that were well-received by customers, but Alyssa Berenstein, marketing director for New York Fries, says they were “operationally unfriendly” for its small retail locations – many of which are found in food courts – with small kitchen sizes, so they had to be removed. But the QSR was recently able to secure a vendor that both met New York Fries’ standards and was workable within its restaurant formats, hence the major push being centred around the dips’ long-awaited return.

Berenstein says using Pinsent’s voice in radio ads with a humourous bent is a continuation of strategy of investing in the New York Fries brand in a way that both “romanticizes” the brand and puts a smile on customers’ faces.

“We sell French fries, and we are not the only French fry purveyor in the mall food court,” Berenstein says. “This combination has worked for us over the past seven years, and we have no intention of changing it; it works for our brand and we feel that our ads stand out within this traditional media. That said, we are also leveraging digital and social platforms to support and reinforce the national radio campaign.”


New York Fries, along with agency Zeno Group, enlisted food, lifestyle and fashion influencers from across Canada to create content out of the dips to share on social feeds. On Sept. 12, the company will host a foodie-themed event at Sherway Gardens in Etobicoke, Ont., where 15 food photographers will take shots of the fries and dip, joined by shoppers who are free to snack and photograph themselves. Berenstein says influencer marketing has been an important part of New York Fries’ social strategy in recent years, especially when it comes to generating excitement for new product launches or its Fry Society loyalty program.

The target for the campaign is parents and students, who will be frequenting malls with New York Fries locations in their food courts during the back-to-school season. Berenstein says the QSR has frequently and successfully used the high-traffic time of year for malls to launch new items in the past.

“We recognize that our brand is not a destination in and of itself – we are part of your mall experience,” she says. “So we want to be top of mind and relevant as a brand when our customers are planning visits to their local mall.”