Whataburger: TV Part Of Major New Campaign


San Antonio-headquartered burger chain Whataburger is looking to build on its impressive growth trends by launching its first all-new marketing campaign in nine years*.

The fast-casual chain's campaign -- to span television, radio, outdoor and online advertising, public relations and social media -- will include separate, parallel Spanish-language efforts.

Whataburger enjoyed system-wide sales growth of 4% last year, making it the sixth-fastest-growing burger chain in the country, according to Economic. The fast-casual chain's sales now exceed $1 billion annually, and it has more than 700 locations in 10 Southwestern and Southern states (Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi, New Mexico, Oklahoma and Texas).

The campaign aims to make the most of Whataburger's focus on exceptional customer service, as well as its fresh, made-to-order burgers and other offerings. The chain, launched from a single roadside stand in Corpus Christi, Texas in 1950, is known for its still-unusual service model, wherein customers who are dining in place their orders at the counter and have their meals delivered to their tables, reducing standing and wait time. Servers circulate in the dining area, offering condiments and refills.



For the campaign, from Austin-based McGarrah-Jessee, crews filmed customers, employees and food preparation during the course of a normal day in more than 20 restaurants throughout Texas and Alabama, going behind the scenes to capture the "authentic spirit" of Whataburger.

The documentary-like TV ads, to begin airing on cable and network in the 10 markets served by Whataburger during the week of Oct. 10, focus first and foremost on the staff's interaction with customers.

"What makes Whataburger different isn't a secret sauce or a recipe locked away in a safe; it's our people, who always serve customers like guests in their own homes," says Rich Scheffler, group director of marketing for Whataburger Restaurants, LP. "When you walk into a Whataburger restaurant, the pride is evident -- you can feel it. This new campaign is our way of bringing that pride to life."

The campaign also marks an expansion of the chain's multicultural marketing, with Spanish-language TV and radio efforts that are not translations of the English creative, but separate creative featuring Spanish-speaking customers and employees, designed to capture Hispanic culture.

In addition, the campaign will expand Whataburger's digital media and mobile marketing presences, via interactive ads on Hulu and Facebook. "Harnessing the latest capabilities available in digital marketing allows us to bring [the] personal interaction to a whole new generation of customers," notes Scheffler. The chain also has a Twitter presence.

* Editor's note: The story was amended post publication.

1 comment about "Whataburger: TV Part Of Major New Campaign ".
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  1. Eric Webber from McGarrah Jessee, October 6, 2011 at 2:55 p.m.

    This campaign represents a change in creative direction - every brand needs that from time to time - but it's far from Whataburger's "first campaign in 9 years." Whataburger is very active every year in a variety of media.

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