Fazoli’s is putting a modern twist on a simpler time with its new marketing strategy. Created by Brokaw Inc., the campaign waxes nostalgic about a time when families spoke to each other over dinner, used utensils, and took time to enjoy the taste of their meals.

The first TV spot, airing in 12 markets, finds a mother and teenage son across a table at the Fazoli’s test lab. An instructor in white coat is giving a remedial lesson on speaking versus texting. The son finally speaks, prompting mom to ask, “When did your voice change?”

The overriding message is that despite time crunches, a family deserves to enjoy a balanced meal together. The commercial promotes Fazoli’s new Ultimate Meatball Smasher Submarinos, priced at $4.99 with drink.

“The campaign celebrates family—Fazoli’s style—and differentiates Fazoli’s from its competitors,” says Cathy Hull, Fazoli’s chief marketing officer. “We believe oven-baked, freshly prepared Italian dishes made from flavorful ingredients are a much better alternative to typical fried fast food.”

The 240-unit chain recently overhauled its menu, setting the stage for the new brand strategy. Items such as Tortellini Robusto, Rigatoni Romano, and Grilled Chicken Artichoke Salad are prepared fresh in-house.

According to Brokaw managing partner Tim Brokaw, Fazoli’s is targeting moms with young kids who need quick meal solutions but who also want to feel good about the quality of food they serve their families. “The tone is quirky, but wholesome,” he says.

A future commercial focuses on meals requiring forks. A corresponding in-store poster reads, “Hi, I’m a fork… remember me?” Another poster features a photo of a Submarinos with the headline, “Has burgers quaking in their heat lamps.”

The “Return to Real Food” campaign also includes radio advertising and will be extended to local restaurant marketing, public relations, and outdoor and digital advertising.

Watch the new Fazoli’s advertisement below.

Menu Innovations, News, Fazoli's