Turn Off The Food Channel And Head Over To Applebee’s

Crispin Porter + Bogusky will “See You Tomorrow” at one of 2000 Applebee’s locations.

Here’s a look at the first two spots in a new food-focused campaign from the Boulder- and Miami-based agency since winning the account:

I’m a little confused by the over-confident tagline. Isn’t tomorrow always one day off? It’s not now, that I know.

Maybe Applebee’s president, Mike Archer, can clear matters up. “‘See You Tomorrow’ isn’t just a line in a commercial. It’s our commitment to build on the strengths that made Applebee’s a foundation in the neighborhood and to do what it takes going forward to earn our guests’ business every day,” he said. “‘See You Tomorrow’ is how we will tell our story, literally every day, in every booth and on every plate.”

Nope, not clear.

This is clear. According to Nation’s Restaurant News, more than half of Applebee’s restaurants will have a new look, including a new logo on signage and awnings, redesigned interiors, and a revamp of the bar by the end of the year. Additionally, 85 percent of the restaurant’s menu is new or has been upgraded.

But what of the commercials? After I posted one spot to Facebook this morning, a commenter wrote, “Crappy, Predictable + Boring strike gold again!” Calling CP+B those particular names seems unduly harsh. At the same time, these ads do not exactly have “Gold Lion” stamped across their proverbial foreheads.

I do like the line, “The new Lemon Shrimp Fettucini is 100% delicious and pairs beautifully with your mouth,” but it’s the kind of self-assured frat boy humor the brand could get from any agency. There’s nothing particularly disruptive about these spots, and that is a change for an agency known for its disruptions.



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.