Marie Callender’s is an iconic Southern California restaurant chain of over 60 company and franchise owned locations. Despite an economy that continued to improve, Marie Callender’s sales were struggling, suggesting that customers were rejecting Marie Callender’s and substituting other options. Marie’s was suffering from negative year over year sales, declining traffic counts, low ratings on value and an overall lack of new news. In addition, Marie Callender locations were in desperate need of a refresh.
To generate sales, increase traffic and create longevity for the brand, there was a need to tell the brand story in a compelling way. A way that stayed true to the core values of Marie Callender’s. We needed to strengthen the connection with guests and take credit for delivering great food with deliciously famous pies. But first, we had to understand what people thought of the brand and what marketing efforts and messaging would be brand believable.
Four brand platforms along with creative looks and messaging were developed and concept tested. A deep brand audit proved that customers still believed that Marie Callender’s continued to operate with the same commitment and passion, inspired by Marie, providing a real, authentic “cozy and comfortable” dining experience.
Home Cooked Happiness was created out of an authentic brand essence that remained true, actionable and brand believable. We developed creative and messaging that was carried out throughout the entire Marie Callender’s organization, from t-shirts to TV commercials and everything in between.
TV messaging focused on the authentic recipes and handmade goodness that goes into every bite of a Marie Callender’s freshly baked pie. Actual footage was captured onsite at a Marie Callender’s location that highlighted the pie crew and their hands-on preparation of their famous pies. Telling the authentic story behind the food and the brand.
Social media was the perfect place to tell the Marie Callender’s “authentic” story with beautiful images of their home-style comfort food and deliciously famous pies. To increase awareness and engagement, we collaborated with 15 Instagram Influencers in the “foodie” space to help promote various Pie Sales throughout the year. We did this with NO ADVERTISING COST through creating mutually beneficial agreements to gain impressions and followers.
Menu designs featured amazing food shots and imagery that included mouthwatering descriptions that inspired guests to order and enjoy Marie Callender’s Home Cooked Happiness.
OUR SUPPORT FOR MARIE'S
- Totally Integrated Marketing Communication Services
- Account Planning and Research
- Promotional Development and Execution
- Creative Development for Broadcast, Print Collateral, OOH, Display Advertising and Brand Refresh
- Concept, writing, production and distribution for all video assets for television, radio and digital display, as well as pre-roll and social media
- Photography, developed comps for the shoots, selected backgrounds, plating and props, supervised photo shoots
- Media Planning, Placement and Analysis
- Social Media Planning and Execution
- Email Marketing
The results were sweeter
than we could have dreamed
Marie Callender’s received high marks in their AA&U studies for providing an authentic dining experience, great tasting food and the very best pies against key competitors. Guest perceptions improved, loyalty increased and comp sales were positive with significant increases during the Pie Sale months.