Industry News | October 2, 2009

Mike Ditka's Favorite Sandwich

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Zaxby’s will return a popular sandwich to its lineup with the help of two of America’s favorite football stars.

To promote the limited-time-only Bourbon Chicken Sandwich, NFL-famed Mike Ditka and Herschel Walker will lend their personalities to the chain’s latest cycle of its popular celebrity commercials.

Along with Ditka and Walker, the TV spots feature the Bourbon Chicken Sandwich, which is made of tender, marinated chicken strips covered in a sweet bourbon glaze with provolone cheese on Texas toast. The sandwich is a feature of the Meal Dealz line up and comes with Crinkle Fries and a drink.

The commercials will air starting Monday, but the chain is giving its Facebook fans a sneak peak by debuting them on the popular social networking site on Friday at 10 a.m. at www.facebook.com/zaxbys.

Along the football theme, Zaxby’s debuts a fun, interactive tailgating Web site at www.zaxbystailgate.com. Visitors to the site can enter to win a $1,000 Visa gift card to plan their fall football getaway, play a football-toss game, use the “Touchdown Dance Yourself” tool to share tailgate spirit with friends, and download a tailgate party planning form or the Zaxby’s ringtone.

When users first visit the site, they will see the back of a pickup truck, which drops down to reveal tailgate accessories. All of the items have some kind of function when clicked on. For instance, clicking on a football starts a football-toss game where users will try to aim and throw the football to a receiver. Clicking on a bobblehead football player allows users to upload their picture that is then placed on a body doing a spirited touchdown dance, which they can send to friends. There are also links on the page to Facebook and Twitter so visitors can easily share the site.

“Our delicious Buffalo Wings, Chicken Fingerz and Nibbler Party Platterz make Zaxby’s a great destination for people planning a football party at home or going to a tailgate at the stadium,” says Zach McLeroy, Zaxby’s CEO and co-founder.

“We hope these football-themed commercials and website inspire our own fans to capture the spirited camaraderie of football season with Zaxby’s.”

St. John & Partners, Zaxby’s agency of record since 2003, created the award-winning campaign that began by capturing real people’s unscripted reactions to eating Zaxby’s food.

“Zaxby’s is a unique brand that people genuinely crave, and during this time of year, they also crave football,” says David Bonner, senior vice president and executive creative director at St. John & Partners.

“Bringing Coach Ditka and Herschel Walker into the game is going to send Zaxby’s tailgate parties into overtime.”