- Inspire Brand's Sonic Drive-In released a new ad campaign and brand identify that positions the quick service restaurant chain as fun-loving and good natured, according to a press release.
- The new campaign is centered around the tagline "This is how we Sonic," and features commercials about four different families' activities over the span of a day. The spots play up the spontaneous moments shared at the drive-in and feature popular menu items. The ads also serve to introduce a new Reese's Overload Waffle Cone.
- To promote the new branding effort, Sonic has created limited-edition swag boxes featuring exclusive items. Consumers can sign up at www.SONICSwagShop.com to receive one of the boxes, while supplies last.
After changing agencies last year, Sonic Drive-In is out with new ads and a brand refresh that mark a shift away from its long-running "Two Guys" ads. The new approach is likely to boost the chain's storytelling around how real customers engage with the brand every day through a focus on real people and the experiences they have driving to a Sonic and while they are there.
"We want to broaden the aperture to show the whole of America — from the wacky to wonderful — and how our guests own their Sonic experience, because every way is the right way to Sonic," said Lori Abou Habib, Sonic's chief marketing officer, in a statement.
However, Sonic Drive-In isn't completely abandoning the "Two Guys" campaign and will incorporate it in some way, the CMO said in comments to Adweek.
The swag box offers the brand a way to appeal to consumers by giving away exclusive items. By signing up to receive a free box, consumers are also sharing some personal data that Sonic can use in the future to promote new products, offers and merchandise. Burger King has also used swag to lure potential customers with free goods. Last year, the fast food giant ran a "Stranger Things" themed campaign and giveaway.
Sonic, whose sales have been lackluster, was acquired in late 2018 by Inspire Brands, which also owns Buffalo Wild Wings and Arby's. Inspire, which is run by private equity firm Roark Capital Group, has a strong track record around acquiring ailing fast food chains and driving growth through a combination of innovation, PR and marketing.
Sonic Drive-In had worked with Goodby Silverstein & Partners for eight years and then hired Mother last fall to help them develop campaigns that would differentiate the brand in the marketplace, per Ad Age.