Bob Evans Farms has launched a digital campaign — including a 70-second video being used primarily as sponsored content — to support Broasted Chicken, a new permanent menu item that it's beginning to roll out across its 570 restaurants.
In the video, dubbed "Feast or Famine," the company's top chef, David Eisel, teasers viewers by telling them he's going to teach them how to make "the crispiest, juiciest chicken you've ever had" — meaning Broasted Chicken — in "five simple steps."
The catch, it turns out, is that making the chicken actually requires expensive, specialized "Broasting" equipment that combines a pressure cooker and a deep fryer.
So the five steps he lays out include getting a bank loan to buy the equipment and to do home renovation to make room for it, and going through extensive Broasting training, then marinating fresh chicken overnight; breading it with flour and seasoning; and cooking it for precisely 10 minutes and 30 seconds. Or, Eisel concludes, "you could always pick some up at your nearest Bob Evans.”
The campaign, from the Pittsburgh-based Brunner agency, targets consumers 25 to 49, and home meal preparers in particular. It's appearing initially in Ohio and parts of West Virginia, where the first restaurants to get the equipment are located. It will roll out across the chain’s footprint (locations in 19 states from Florida to Texas, concentrated in the Midwest) in the first quarter of 2015.
The video is being served up as sponsored content on FoodNetwork.com (again, initially only to visitors who live in the Ohio/West Virginia markets). It will also be featured in a Bob Evans page takeover on this site and, once the item is available in all of its restaurants, on its social media assets.
The brand is also running rich media banners on FoodNetwork.com and general video sites including Hulu, Crackle, ABC.com and CBS.com, where viewers with food interests are being targeted. The banners link to a Broasted Chicken page on BobEvans.com.
Broasted Chicken comes in a two-piece meal priced at $7.99 and a $19.99 family meal. According to Bob Evans, in test marketing in Cincinnati earlier this year, the chicken became the stores' best-seller, accounting for up to 12% of sales, and was so popular that the item often sold out.
Correction: Broasting equipment is not exclusive to Bob Evans and the Broasted Chicken name is registered to the Broaster Co. An earlier version included incorrect information supplied to Marketing Daily.