SPARTANBURG, SC: Whoops! Denny’s appeared to have "accidentally" sent out a working draft of a press release on Monday, complete with tracking changes, to promote its $5.99 Super Slam value meal.
Of course, the "draft" was intentionally sent to relevant media outlets to earn coverage of the limited time menu item. It did the trick. Since the release was distributed on Monday, "at least half a dozen outlets" have reached out to the restaurant chain to ask if the statement was real, said Scott Moody, account supervisor at Denny’s agency partner EP+Co.
"We got a couple [outlets asking], ‘Did you mean to send this out?’ So it is gathering the attention we wanted and starting conversations," said Denny’s SVP and CMO John Dillon.
The PDF file is named "v8 final FINAL rev 2," and it includes changes from Dillon, suggesting edits such as adding exclamation points to the headline.
"Maybe we need more exclamation points? This much food deserves it," he commented. Dillon also changed the menu item to include not one, but two buttermilk pancakes, eggs, strips of bacon, sausage links, and hash browns.
Denny’s agency partner EP+Co came up with the idea for the release. Moody said the chain is trying to reach media in a way that would "resonate" with them: if recipients questioned if Denny’s was "out of its mind" with the deal, the diner would lean into that notion with the "unfinished" press release, he explained.
"The target in this case was the press [instead of] consumers," said Dillon. "We wanted to break through the clutter to get the crazy value of this deal out there."
He added that the "accidental" release fits with the brand’s "playful tongue-in-cheek" voice it has on its social media channels.
Denny’s also rolled out a national TV spot on Monday that questions its own sanity with a "$5.99 Are you out of your mind?" jingle.