Blogging about advertising is usually my brother’s thing over at 989 Design, but I saw this new TV ad for Joe’s Crab Shack tonight and my first thought was: wow, they’ve got a new ad agency.
See for yourself:
The tone certainly caught my interest before I knew what brand they were advertising. The ad feels an awful lot like the recent Chrysler “Imported From Detroit” ads that were so effective. The takeaway: Joe’s isn’t just some run-of-the-mill chain restaurant. It’s a good ad, if you ask me. Joe’s is clearly trying to shatter previous opinions about their brand and taking a fresh, new approach.
And sure enough, my suspicions about ad agencies were correct. After a quick search, I found this November news release:
It came as no surprise to me that McCann Erickson counts Chrysler as one of its clients. I’m not suggesting the Chrysler and Joe’s ads are identical, but the DNA is similar.
Full disclosure: I’ve never been a huge fan of Joe’s Crab Shack. I’m not a chain restaurant snob or anything, but Joe’s has never really tripped my wire. I’m sure my position was cemented when I ate at Joe’s for the first time at one of its Kansas City franchises in 1998. They were competing with the “fun,” casual dining restaurants. Problem for me: it was just too much “fun.” Between overly boisterous service staff dancing around and the singing and banging on pots and pans in the dining room, I found myself overwhelmed by the “atmosphere.” In fairness, however, the food wasn’t bad.
Over the years, Joe’s advertising reflected this casual-dining concept. But over the past decade or so, tastes in dining have changed. Consumers are turning to local, mom-and-pop eateries instead of corporate restaurants. This new ad campaign from Joe’s Crab Shack reflects their awareness of this trend and I give them credit for recognizing that. But is this going to work or is it just a case of the emperor’s new clothes? Is Joe’s pretending to be something it is not? And will consumers buy into the concept?
I guess the proof will be in the sales over the next few weeks.