Long John Silver’s Claims High Ground In “America’s Fish Fry” Battle

Long John Silver’s, with the aid of Louisville-based Creative Alliance, have pulled off one of the cleverest, or dumbest, bait-and-switch moves ever.

Check this out, the spot whets the viewer’s appetite with a real fish fry at a real restaurant in Detroit, before cutting to Long John Silver’s version of this great American meal.

Personally, I see the spot above and I want to go to the real restaurant and enjoy their fried fish. Of course, I am not the target for this ad. Fast food-eating fish fans are the targets, and the campaign is connecting. The chain is already reporting a 20% jump in store transactions and an overall jump of 14% in revenues since commercials broke in mid-July.

The campaign has also gone viral within the Catholic community. Within two days of its initial airing, CatholicVote.org recorded over 15,000 views of an article it wrote about the Long John’s campaign and how it portrays community-church activities in a positive light.

The new fish fry focus has now become the brand’s “Northstar,” or differentiating value proposition, and plans are to have the “deep-fried in America” idea impact store experience, community marketing, social media campaigns and more.



About David Burn

I wrote my first ad for a political candidate when I was 17 years old. She won her race and I felt the seductive power of advertising for the first time. Today—after working for seven agencies in five states—I am head of brand strategy and creative at Bonehook in Portland, Oregon.