Fazoli's launches "Return to Real Food" campaign


Fazoli’s, America’s largest quick service Italian chain, is putting a modern twist on a simpler time with its new marketing strategy. Via Brokaw, Inc., the campaign waxes nostalgic about a time when families spoke to each other over dinner, used utensils and took time to enjoy the taste of their meals.

The first TV spot, airing in 12 markets, finds a mother and teenage son across a table at the Fazoli’s test lab. An instructor in white coat is giving a remedial lesson on speaking versus texting. The son finally speaks, prompting mom to ask, “When did your voice change?” The campaign also includes radio and will be extended to local restaurant marketing, PR and outdoor and digital.

Fazoli’s spokesperson Brad Ritter tells RBR-TVBR all about the buy:

Markets: Dayton, Des Moines, Evansville, Flint-Saginaw, Green Bay, Indianapolis, Kansas City, Lexington, Lubbock, Odessa-Midland, Omaha, Paducah, Springfield MO, St Louis, Traverse City

Networks: Local broadcast affiliates of ABC, CBS, CW, FOX, NBC and My Network as well as local cable in a select few of the above markets on TNT, USA, HGTV, Food, A&E, ESPN, Cartoon, Nickelodeon, Animal Planet, Comedy Channel, FX, E! Entertainment TV and Discovery Channel.

Programs include popular prime programs and specials including the NBA Finals, So You Think You Can Dance, Nascar, CSI: Miami, America’s Got Talent and Bachelorette; top rated syndicated programming including Oprah, Dr. Phil, The Office, 2 1/2 Men, Wheel of Fortune and  Jeopardy and the top rated local news programs across several different time periods.

The overriding message is that despite time crunches, a family deserves to enjoy a tasty, balanced meal together. The current commercial promotes Fazoli’s new Ultimate Meatball Smasher Submarinos, priced at $4.99 with drink.

The 240-unit chain recently overhauled its menu, setting the stage for the new brand strategy. Items such as Tortellini Robusto, Rigatoni Romano and Grilled Chicken Artichoke Salad are prepared fresh in-house. Despite the higher quality of Fazoli’s food, its prices are comparable to other quick service chains.

According to Brokaw Managing Partner Tim Brokaw, Fazoli’s is targeting moms with young kids who need quick meal solutions but who also want to feel good about the quality of food they serve their families. “The tone is quirky, but wholesome,” he said.

A future commercial focuses on meals requiring forks. A corresponding in-store poster reads, “Hi, I’m a fork… remember me?” Another poster features a photo of a Submarinos with the headline, “Has burgers quaking in their heat lamps.”