Industry News | January 7, 2003

Captain D's Sets Course for 2003 with New Ad Campaign

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Louise is a no-nonsense, energetic, Captain D's store manager who knows the secret to great hushpuppies. She's also the new "spokesperson" this year for the seafood chain. Captain D's launched a new television ad campaign at the beginning of January with a series of three commercials. The new spots, combined with a new look in its stores and a new kids meal program, are part of a brand evolution taking place at Captain D's in 2003.

"This is an exciting time to be a part of the Captain D's brand as we continue on our mission to become one of the top restaurant chains in the country," said Ron Walker, president and chief operating officer for Captain D's. "Everything about Captain D's right now, our marketing, the look in our stores, the new products we will be launching, has positioned us for outstanding growth and expansion for 2003."

The Face of Captain D's for 2003

The new television spots, produced by Captain D's advertising agency, Sullivan Higdon & Sink (Kansas City, Mo.), and launched system-wide in January, mark the first time that Captain D's has used a "spokesperson" in its advertising. The face you see in all three spots is that of Louise, a very energetic Captain D's store manager. In each 30-second spot, Louise communicates a different Captain D's brand attribute.

"We wanted to put a face on Captain D's, and the truth is, you probably will find someone like Louise, someone with the commitment to hospitality and the little details, in each one of our restaurants," said Charles Bruce, senior vice president of marketing for Captain D's. "Plus, Louise does a great job of communicating the things that set Captain D's apart from the competition, a dedication to service with a wide-variety of choices that are prepared fresh every day."

Along with the new spots, Captain D's is also unveiling new point-of-sale material in each of its locations. The look for the in-store signage was inspired by the look of old warehouses you might see on a dock by the sea. It's a genuine, authentic and warm look that you wouldn't necessarily expect from a typical restaurant chain.

"We really didn't want to utilize the solid background and modern fonts that most fast-food restaurants use. We want people to see our signage and think that the Captain actually hand painted it himself," added Bruce.

A Facelift for 100 Stores

Captain D's Seafood also announced today that it has kicked off a year- long effort to freshen up the look of 100 company-owned stores.

From new countertops to new kitchens to new menu boards and a fresh coat of paint, Captain D's is improving its customers' dining experience by making the restaurant atmosphere more comfortable and inviting.

"You only get one chance to make a good impression with your customers, and that's when they first walk through the door. That's why we are focusing our attention on what customers see when they first walk up to the counter," said Walker.

Some of the stores on the list for remodeling are getting their first facelift since the mid-1990s. The remodeling campaign will encompass nearly 30 percent of its locations system-wide during its 2003 fiscal year, which ends next October. The markets targeted for remodeling this year include: St. Louis, Louisville, Knoxville, Atlanta, Charleston, SC, Springfield, Mo., Columbus, Ga., Evansville, Ind. Stores in northern Alabama, northern Mississippi and West Virginia will also get an updated look.