Red Robin Expands 'Yummm' Campaign

Red Robin

Red Robin Gourmet Burgers, Inc. is expanding its "Answer the Call/Yummm" campaign, first launched in this year's first quarter, to help drive summer sales. 

The original "Answer the Call" campaign -- featuring humorous scenarios in which unlikely subjects (such as a baby and the mythical Yeti) answer a "Red Robin" call with a "Yummm" mnemonic response -- ran on national cable TV and local TV and radio from late February through mid-April.

According to the chain and its agency of record, Minneapolis-based Periscope, the campaign helped boost traffic and same-store sales during Red Robin's spring limited-time offer promotion.

Although the chain reported that comparable-store company-owned restaurant sales were down 2.3% during its fiscal first quarter ending May 18 (in part due to severe weather in key markets), that was an improvement over Q1 2009's decline of 8.1% for the same metric. It was also an improvement over Q3 and Q4 2009, when company-owned comp sales were down 14.9% and 10.5%, respectively.



Unaided brand awareness levels increased by five percentage points in Q1 2010 versus the same period last fiscal year, the chain reports. In addition, the campaign -- which included pumped-up online/social media efforts (such as a "Burger Time" game in which players were rewarded with "Yummm" ringtones) -- also helped add 30,000 new Facebook fans during the period, doubling the fan base.

The new ads, which include TV and online versions, continue to build brand awareness through the "Yummm" mnemonic (which pulled high recognition in focus group research prior to development of the original campaign), while promoting the chain's limited-time summer menu items, explained Periscope VP/executive creative director Charlie Callahan.

Two new TV spots will air through July 18 on cable networks, including USA Network, TBS, TLC, Comedy Central and Food Network.

One spot portrays a stoic guard in front of what appears to be Buckingham Palace resisting tourists' efforts to make him speak, until they yell "Red Robin" -- to which he replies, "Yummm." The other spot shows children playing hide-and-seek, with the "Red Robin" call luring kids to reveal themselves by eliciting "Yummm" responses. Both spots follow the vignettes with promotions for the limited-time summer specials (a Big Melt Bacon Burger and Honey Mustard Chicken Sandwich, each priced at $6.99).

Online, an extended version of the Palace guard video is being featured on Red Robin's YouTube channel.

In addition, through a synched display creative format, online banner ads feature the "Red Robin" call appearing in a thought bubble, and beneath it, a parody ad for a faux spa that shows a woman lifting cucumber slices off her eyes to answer the banner ad's call with "Yummm." The ads are appearing on sites such as CafeMom, USA Today and the Weather Channel.

Red Robin also recently introduced nearly a dozen new standing items to its regular menu, including two new gourmet burgers, pasta entrées and lower-priced appetizers called "Jump Starters."

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