Bojangles' boosts sales with RV Tour

Chicken and biscuit restaurant chain Bojangles' asked Erwin-Penland to create a campaign to celebrate the opening of its 100th store in South Carolina and its 30th anniversary in the state.

Agency: Erwin-Penland (Greenville, SC)

Client: Bojangles' Restaurants (Charlotte, NC)

Campaign: Bojangles' Cruisin' SC RV Tour

Duration: March 22 – May 26

Budget: $300,000 (not including media buys)

Chicken and biscuit restaurant chain Bojangles' asked Erwin-Penland to create a campaign to celebrate the opening of its 100th store in South Carolina and its 30th anniversary in the state. Bojangles' SVP of marketing Randy Poindexter notes that Erwin-Penland was awarded AOR status after this campaign.

Barry Finkelstein, VP and director of PR at the firm, says the team devised a 10-week RV tour of all South Carolina restaurants to expand the store opening celebration statewide. The restaurant also chose to sponsor South Carolina Future Minds' Teacher of the Year and Teacher Appreciation Month programs.

Strategy

“We challenged Erwin-Penland to create a statewide event," Poindexter says, and the tour provided an opportunity for South Carolinians to celebrate their state and its teachers.

Bojangles' hired two performers to staff the RV, and oversee tour elements such as giveaways and special events honoring teachers. The restaurant also pledged to give South Carolina Future Minds five cents for every iced tea or Pepsi product purchased during the tour.

Tactics      

When the RV visited a restaurant, the prices dropped to the original 1979 prices for the day. Bojangles' had giveaways, such as coupons and tote bags, and breakfast parties or book donation events for 85 district-winning teachers.

Media outreach was highly localized. Bojangles' CEO Randy Kibler also conducted interviews.

The campaign "gave us a unique way to connect with the community, hold local events, and have a statewide platform to take a stand on an important issue [of education] and really own teacher appreciation," Finkelstein says. "It was a logical tie to this campaign that is about recognizing pride and what's special about SC.”

The tour was chronicled on a website, and Bojangles' posted campaign information Facebook and Twitter. Customers who posted photos of the RV on tour to Twitter were entered to win Bojangles' gift cards. 

The tour concluded May 26 at the grand opening of the 100th restaurant in Columbia, SC. The 1979 prices were in effect in all South Carolina stores that day.

Results

Poindexter says all South Carolina stores saw double or triple digit sales increases on May 26, compared with the same day in 2009. Individual restaurants also experienced increased sales when the RV visited. He calls this Bojangles' most successful campaign to date “from a sales standpoint.”

The maximum pledge of $10,000 was donated to South Carolina Future Minds, and Erwin-Penland reports nearly 7 million media impressions statewide. Since its March 22 launch, nearly 49,000 visitors went to the website.

Future

Bojangles' will continue to support South Carolina Future Minds. Poindexter says the team is formalizing plans to celebrate the award winning teachers for the 2010-2011 school year. 

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