Industry News | March 7, 2011

Denny’s is ‘Always Open’ for Some Laughs

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Denny's, in partnership with Will Arnett and Jason Bateman's digital content and production studio, DumbDumb, and Ben Silverman's multimedia studio, Electus, an operating business of IAC, announced the launch of its premier celebrity Web series, "Always Open." The show is an extension of Denny's latest nationwide campaign developed by New York ad agency Gotham and adds depth to the new "America's Diner is always open" platform, allowing even more consumers access to the Denny's experience of a warm and welcoming place where friends and family get together and "open up." Ensemble, the branded entertainment arm of Interpublic Group's Mediabrands, played a key role in the development of the partnership and series.

Hosted by comedic actor, David Koechner, of Anchorman, SNL, and The Office fame, "Always Open" launches its first episode at www.collegehumor.com/alwaysopen and seats Koechner in a Denny's booth with Jason Bateman. Also set to grace upcoming episodes are Will Arnett, Sarah Silverman, Amy Poehler, Will Forte, and Kristin Bell. All episodes take place on premise in a live, working Denny's restaurant, where Koechner meets up with his comedic celeb cohorts for an anything-goes, three-minute interview. Everyone from diners and employees of Denny's to talk show guests will interact together in this entertaining, spontaneous environment, providing further integration of brand and content. "Always Open" will be distributed across CollegeHumor.com, Dennys.com, and DumbDumb.com and will also be accessible via YouTube, Face book, and other social platforms.  

"We at DumbDumb are excited to be partnering with Denny's in delivering a talent like Dave Koechner within a format that's perfectly suited to showcase his unique comedic slant," say Arnett andBateman. "Going forward, we hope that ‘Always Open’ establishes itself as a natural destination for many of today's top figures in the entertainment industry. Frankly, we think this show is a grand slamwich."

"For more than 50 years Denny's has been a place where people come together to enjoy good food and conversation," says Denny's CMO Frances Allen. "The 'Always Open' series utilizes celebrities to draw attention to the kinds of dialog you'll overhear all the time at Denny's—sometimes funny, sometimes heartwarming, but always authentic."

The idea for an interview segment was conceived by Gotham Inc. of the Interpublic Group of Companies (IPG).

"When we created the 'Always Open' brand platform for Denny's, we did it with every intention of spreading that message across all media platforms," says Marty Orzio, chief creative officer at Gotham. "The partnership with DumbDumb and Electus gives Denny's the chance to speak to their customers in a fresh, fun way, while reinforcing its new brand positioning."

The content, which is created and executive produced by Arnett and Bateman with Denny's serving as a coproducer, utilizes Web production and development expertise from leading online content site CollegeHumor.com, part of the Electus studio system, whose original content creations have been viewed more than 300 million times with its viewers watching 100 years worth of video content each month.

"Major forward-thinking brands like Denny's recognize that the traditional advertising model has transformed significantly over the last few years and are embracing new ways of reaching their consumers online," says Laura Caraccioli-Davis, executive vice president of Advertising Solutions of Electus. "As one of America's most iconic brands, we are excited to team up with Denny's to not only create great content, but to help the brand express its values and personality to a broad audience, and to truly enhance its presence nationwide."

The first webisode is available with the following two episodes airing on March 23 and April 6.