This American casual-dining icon, once known for its innovation, found itself in a brown, fried rut. Its extensive menu was dominated by fried food, something of a liability in an increasingly health-conscious nation. It had lost the uniqueness that had once set it heads above its competitors. So when the chain’s new, colorful menu emphasizing freshness was ready for test marketing in Denver, the company chose Philosophy Communication to guide the launch and change diners’ perceptions about T.G.I. Friday’s and its food.
Philosophy’s comprehensive strategy included extensive media outreach (including sending plenty of free food to newsrooms), private tasting events, direct mail and email marketing, a heavy emphasis on social media and digital banners, street teams to hand out coupons, radio spots, and even flash mobs in downtown Denver and Aurora locations. Every tactic we developed and implemented had to relate strategically back to the fundamental change T.G.I. Friday’s was trying make: going from an overdone menu with lots of brown, fried food to a fresh, new, modern menu without losing the fun, energetic vibe for which Friday’s was known.
TGIFriday’s already had a loyal following. A large emphasis was put on communicating with those loyal customers, so Friday’s wouldn’t alienate them while trying to attract new customers with its new menu. Philosophy focused many of our efforts on the 27,000 Denver customers enrolled in Friday’s loyalty program: “Give Me More Stripes.” As a result, the entire campaign reached more than 500,000 people, with more than 50,000 people visiting a Denver-area Friday’s as a result of one or more contacts or coupons. Philosophy successfully changed the conversation about Friday’s in Denver.