A&W Restaurants

Brand Strategy - 100 Years In The Making

CASE REVIEW

Millennials. The word found in every creative brief of every project for the last 10 years. They have a great appreciation for authenticity, but the trouble is, sharing that authentic story is harder than it sounds because one video won’t cut it - they’d have to feel it through everything to make it work. A&W opened the nation's first roadside restaurant in 1919 and Boomers have nostalgic memories of the era, but our new generation of consumers has been missing out. We set out to make an emotional connection with our new consumers while also evoking a sense of nostalgic pride with our existing fast-casual restaurant consumers.

ROLE

Chief Creative Officer

AGENCY

Cornett | A&W Brand Team

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STRATEGY

What began as A&W 2.0, developed into the strategic brand concept of “Hip Nostalgia.” When you have 100 years of history, there are many places the brand could live, but we felt it wasn’t the rustic vibe of the early 1900’s or the ‘90’s co-branded restaurants most consumers have known. This incredible history was archived thoughtfully with great creative throughout every decade. Looking back to look forward, we found a timeless creative platform and aesthetic to inspire big ideas to impact all aspects of the brand in a way that’s meaningful to our multiple consumer groups.

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HIP NOSTLAGIA

Mid-century modern design meets counter culture attitude. It's not vintage - it's A&W.

INSPIRATION

Staying true to the heritage of A&W, we undesigned the brand back a timeless simplicity.

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POWERFUL CREATIVE

Hip Nostalgia is bigger than the branded environment, and pulling through the inspiration of early packaging and advertisements, the team brought to life apparel that the staff loved to wear, and the national sales events began to build an even bigger audience for the brand. With a newfound voice and swagger, the approach to social content and ideas began landing national press, and the redesigned website landed on .Net Magazine's list of the most innovative uses of CSS.

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A&W PRESS

The year we began working on A&W, the media was sharing stories of their demise. We took it personally, and began to let the world know the brand is here to stay.

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How A&W Restaurants Grabs Facebook Fans With Fake News
Carol Tice Forbes
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With a Mouthful, A&W Hopes to Draw Baby Boomers' Offspring
Andrew Adam Newman New York Times
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A&W Wants to Add an Ampersand to the Alphabet
Adam Campbell-Schmitt Food & Wine
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A&W Celebrates 100 Years with a Growth Spurt
Danny Klein QSR Magazine

Brand Movements Through Culture