- Arby's named Patrick Schwing as chief marketing officer to oversee the fast-food chain's advertising, digital innovation, menu development and brand experience, per an announcement. Schwing joins Arby's after more than 16 years at Procter & Gamble (P&G).
- Schwing previously led the global power brush interactivity and innovation group at Oral-B, P&G's consumer dental care brand. While there, he oversaw the introduction of its Oral-B Connect products that use artificial intelligence (AI) technology and a mobile app to help consumers improve their teeth brushing.
- Schwing also worked as a brand manager for P&G products such as Pantene, Head & Shoulders and Herbal Essences, according to his profile on LinkedIn. He will report directly to Arby’s President Jim Taylor, per the announcement.
Arby's appointment of Patrick Schwing as CMO is notable for hiring an experienced brand manager and marketing executive outside of the restaurant industry. The fast-food chain was looking for someone with experience in brand-building, digital marketing and innovation, Arby's President Jim Taylor said in a statement.
Schwing's most recent experience includes P&G's efforts to embrace digital and mobile technologies among personal care brands such as Oral-B. As mobile ordering, payment and delivery become more important to the restaurant industry, Schwing's experience is valuable to a brand like Arby's. Similarly, Starbucks recently promoted Brady Brewer to CMO from VP of digital customer experience, in a sign that the chain is looking to make the in-store and digital experience more seamless.
Schwing's hiring comes as Arby's looks to differentiate itself amid a competitive QSR space. Even as some fast-food rivals have embraced plant-based alternatives, Arby's has defiantly touted its sandwiches made from roast beef, bacon and turkey with the slogan, "We have the meats." The chain even created a meat-based carrot called "the Marrot" to buck the prevailing trend of selling meat substitutes. Arby's has worked to counteract rumors that it was planning to add a plant-based burger to its menu after Burger King and Little Caesars announced partnerships with Impossible Foods, Fortune reported.
Arby's recent marketing campaigns included an effort in January to troll rivals, a strategy that Burger King and Wendy's have adopted in the past few years. Arby's highlighted its hat-shaped logo in a campaign timed with National Hat Day on Jan. 15. The chain tweeted a video showing the mascots of competitors such as Burger, King, KFC, McDonald's and Wendy's wearing the iconic Arby's hat.