Earls Restaurant

"Earls Steak Redemption"

In western Canada, EarlsRestaurants had begun to feel tired and sales at the older locations were starting to suffer. The brand needed to find ways to reinvigorate its appeal to the core target of socializing networkers.

While Earls produced a steak-house quality product, however consumers perceived Earls to have a below average quality of steak. The goal was to drive guest counts through a steak-focused selling program, and therefore double steak sales versus the same period last year andpositively shift consumer perception.

For most consumers, going out to eat steak is not a regular occasion. However, when they do go out for a steak, it's important that it's done right. Playing off of this insight, Leo Burnett's strategy was to create buzz at the launch by inviting people who had experienced a bad steak to come to Earls for a complimentary steak done right.

The agency created the "Earls Steak Redemption Event." It went to Facebook, Twitter and restaurant blogs to find disappointed steakhouse consumers. And then personally invited them to Earls to redeem their bad experiences and prove that Earls had great steak. The entire experience was captured on film and posted to YouTube.

The design focused around carefully crafted seals and weather-treated backgrounds,signalling Earls' dedication to quality and detail. The campaign look was consistently woven through each communication touch point. Radio, out-of-home and newspaper did the heavy lifting in terms of reach and frequency. But it was the act of actually inviting the target to Earls for steak redemption that really struck a cord and gave the campaign social traction.

In non-media markets, Leo Burnett's themed in-restaurant communications generated a 60% increase vs. the previous year. And in mass-media markets, which had both in-store and paid media support, steak sales increased 90% vs. the previous year. Overall guest counts also increased: the steak event increased traffic by 7% and represented the most significant guest count increase in the last three years.Four weeks after the event, steak sales remained strong, showing a sustained +27% increase versus the previous year.