Arby's broke records for the world's largest and smallest ads to promote its switch to Coke
- Arby's has officially switched to serving Coca-Cola products at its restaurants nationwide, and to announce the new beverage lineup, the fast-food chain set Guinness World Records for the world's largest and smallest ads, according to a news release.
- The brand released a video on its social media channels explaining how the ads were created. The largest ad, which measures 212,000 square feet and covers nearly five acres, reads "Arby's Now Has Coke." It has been officially recognized as the largest advertisement by Guinness World Records. Arby's is displaying the ad in Monowi, Nebraska, the smallest town in the U.S., which has a population of one.
- Arby's also collaborated with Georgia Tech's Institute for Electronics and Nanotechnology to create the smallest advertisement as recognized by Guinness World Records. Engineers used an ion beam to etch a message onto a sesame seed from an Arby's bun that reads, "A big announcement is coming. This isn't it." The seed, a teaser for the Monowi stunt, measures 735.36 square micron and was displayed inside an Arby's in New York City, the largest city in the U.S. Diners could view the ad using a Scanning Electron Microscope provided by Hitachi-HTA.
When Arby's first announced last summer that it was switching from serving Pepsi to Coke products in its restaurants, many fans of the chain were upset and aired their frustrations on social media. For the full rollout, the brand is thinking both large and small with its marketing to try and win over the remaining naysayers and also draw the interest of those dedicated to Coke products. As showy out-of-home stunts become more popular with marketers, Arby's has taken the idea to the extreme and managed to notch two Guinness World Records along the way, which could further boost its social media chatter.
Fast-food restaurants continue to look for ways to stand out in a highly competitive market and as younger consumers aren't eating as much fast food as previous generations. Arby's has in recent years retooled its marketing to target more niche audiences, including through social media posts referencing video games and anime. An April analysis by Engagement Labs, which tracks online and offline consumer conversations, found this approach has won the brand a lot of favor and ranked it high in terms of "talkworthiness." Sharing social videos about the process behind developing the world's largest and smallest ads continues building on this strategy.
The brand, which is the second-largest sandwich chain in the world, has also been making strategic business moves. Arby's merged with Buffalo Wild Wings in February under a renamed company, Inspire Brands Inc. The change was intended to give consumers more options, such as choosing between fast food and fast casual, under one umbrella.