Marketing

Olive Garden, Applebee’s cut through TV ad clutter

The two casual-dining giants accounted for eight of last week’s 10 most effective ads for full-service brands. On the QSR side, chicken and pizza spots dominated.
tv remote
Photograph: Shutterstock

Olive Garden and Applebee’s dominated casual-dining TV advertising last week, locking up eight of the top 10 spots on EDO’s ranking of airings by their effectiveness. Olive Garden’s lunch offerings were the star of the top three spots, while Applebee’s touted its latest all-you-can-eat deal in two different executions, both of which featured monster hit songs from the past.

In the quick-service market, pizzas and chicken items were the big stars in last week’s TV advertisements. With the exception of Taco Bell’s commercial for its $1 Double Stacked Tacos, every spot in the top 10 featured one of those two products. Chick-fil-A once again topped the rankings with a 30-second come-on for its nuggets, aired during CBS’ “Chicago Fire.” Domino’s scored five slots with ads promoting its various specialty pies. 

The rankings are based on EDO’s proprietary calculation of Search Engagement Volume, or changes in the level of searching for a brand after its commercial airs. The New York City-based agency views that metric as a gauge of consumers’ propensity to order from the chain. 

Top 10 casual/midscale network primetime TV ads
Jan. 14–Jan. 20

  1. Olive Garden Lunch at Olive Garden :30 - 21.0 SEV
    The Bachelor (ABC), Jan 20, 6.2M impressions
  2. Olive Garden Lunch at Olive Garden :15 - 10.8 SEV
    Ellen's Game of Games (NBC), Jan 14, 4.2M impressions
  3. Olive Garden Lunch at Olive Garden :30 - 10.7 SEV
    Chicago P.D. (NBC), Jan 15, 6.8M impressions
  4. Applebee's One More Time - 9.7 SEV
    Young Sheldon (CBS), Jan 16, 8.9M impressions
  5. Chili's 3 for $10 - Chili's Fancy :15 - 9.3 SEV
    Chicago P.D. (NBC), Jan 15, 6.8M impressions
  6. Applebee's One More Time - 8.9 SEV
    Chicago Fire (NBC), Jan 15, 8.2M impressions
  7. Applebee's Can’t Help Myself :15 - 8.5 SEV
    NCIS (CBS), Jan 14, 10.1M impressions
  8. Chili's 3 for $10 - Chili's Fancy :15 - 8.5 SEV
    Bob Hearts Abishola (CBS), Jan 20, 6.4M impressions
  9. Applebee's One More Time - 6.4 SEV
    The Unicorn (CBS), Jan 16, 5.6M impressions
  10. Olive Garden Lunch at Olive Garden :15 - 5.9 SEV
    New Amsterdam (NBC), Jan 14, 5.0M impressions

Top 10 QSR/fast-casual network primetime TV ads 
Jan. 14 –Jan. 20

  1. Chick-fil-A Chick-fil-A Nuggets - Magic - 47.1 SEV
    Chicago Fire (NBC), Jan 15, 8.2M impressions
  2. Domino's Pizza Mix & Match Deal - Allowance :15 - 36.2 SEV
    Ellen's Game of Games (NBC), Jan 14, 4.2M impressions
  3. Chick-fil-A Chick-fil-A Nuggets - Magic - 29.3 SEV
    The Good Doctor (ABC), Jan 20, 5.4M impressions
  4. Domino's Pizza Mix & Match Deal - Allowance :15 - 27.1 SEV
    The Resident (FOX), Jan 14, 3.9M impressions
  5. Domino's Pizza Five Crust Options for $7.99 - 26.9 SEV
    The Resident (FOX), Jan 14, 3.9M impressions
  6. Domino's Pizza Five Crust Options for $7.99 - 23.2 SEV
    Ellen's Game of Games (NBC), Jan 14, 4.2M impressions
  7. Little Caesars Pizza Thin Crust - Shy - 21.7 SEV
    Jeopardy! The Greatest of All Time (ABC), Jan 14, 13.6M impressions
  8. Chick-fil-A Chick-fil-A Nuggets - Magic - 16.8 SEV
    Modern Family (ABC), Jan 15, 3.8M impressions
  9. Taco Bell $1 Double Stacked Tacos - Big Show :15 - 16.7 SEV
    Jeopardy! The Greatest of All Time (ABC), Jan 14, 13.6M impressions
  10. Domino's Pizza Pepperoni Guy :15 - 16.0 SEV
    The Neighborhood (CBS), Jan 20, 6.8M impression

Source: EDO

SEV = Search Engagement Volume

Members help make our journalism possible. Become a Restaurant Business member today and unlock exclusive benefits, including unlimited access to all of our content. Sign up here.

Multimedia

Exclusive Content

Emerging Brands

5 pre-emerging restaurant brands ready for takeoff

These small concepts are still proving out their ideas, but each shows promise as a potential candidate for the next generation of emerging chains.

Technology

This little-known iPhone feature could change restaurant ordering

Tech Check: Almost every customer has a POS in their pocket. Can mini mobile apps get them to actually use it?

Financing

Red Lobster gives private equity another black eye

The Bottom Line: The role a giant sale-leaseback had in the bankruptcy filing of the seafood chain has drawn more criticism of the investment firms' financial engineering. The criticism is well-earned.

Trending

More from our partners