A&W Restaurants

How An American Icon's Direct-To-Consumer 'Drop' Had The World Craving Cheese Curds

CASE REVIEW

It was the peak of ‘Hot Girl Summer’, and Megan Thee Stallion and Nicki Minja kicked back to watch the song become a meme-like movement that basically shattered Google Trends by June 2021.

Let’s face it, it’s way too hot for Hot Girl Summer. And if you’re like us, which you are, we were all waiting it out inside until the leaves change colors, and our favorite clothes come out of storage in that weird dresser drawer that’s packed full of the comfy stuff.

This satirical insight became the crux of how A&W Restaurants would spread the gospel about their delicious Cheese Curds made with 100% Wisconsin White Cheddar.

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STRATEGY

Snack-size menu offerings are now a really big deal. With ⅓ of QSR spending happening outside of traditional meal times (Numerator Insights), and 86% of Americans opting for two meals and three snacks daily instead of “three square meals a day”, this new behavior isn’t going unnoticed by major competitors.

The Technomic Snacking Occasion Consumer Trend Report shows that Fast Food Burger Restaurants are only second to Grocery Stores when it comes to where they prefer to snack. So to build awareness with our snack-size content consuming guests, we did what anyone would do — create the highest quality branded fashion line of all-time — Cheddar Weather.

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BRAND COLLABS 🧀

From boots handcrafted in Wisconsin to studios in Brooklyn, each of the brand collaborators have a story that aligns with the A&W brand.

HAND-MADE 🍂

Staying true to the heritage of A&W, we gave old-school craftsmanship a first bump and a frosted mug of A&W root beer.

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"The brand—perhaps best known for its frosty root beer and old-school dining experience—is forging a pricey new made-in-America, artist-driven path in this exploding space of branded merch."

"Varsity jackets and Thorogood boots come at designer prices as the brand seeks to own Cheddar Weather"

— T.L. Stanley, ADWEEK

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D2C SOCIAL E-COMMERCE

This campaign is bigger than a guerilla marketing stunt. We built an entire e-commerce experience, and activated buying across A&W Restaurants’ social media channels. From @tylerposey58 (and his 6.5M followers) daydreaming of the letterman jacket to @serendipityfood proudly purchasing her own beanie, The Cheddar Weather fashion line created a fan-following, and real profits were generated 😮

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EARNED-MEDIA VALUE

Beyond the massive social sharing and conversations, the A&W Restaurants Cheddar Weather campaign continues to grow. Measured Earned-Media Value results within the first 2 weeks (data as of Sept 30, 2021), 'Cheddar Weather' generated a reach of 36,962,033 impressions for an EMV of $739,240.66

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A&W Restaurants Celebrates Fall With Cheddar Weather Collection
James Buttery Hypebeast
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It's Cheddar Weather Somewhere
Dayna Evans Eater
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A&W Launches High-End Merch Line Called 'Cheddar Weather' Collection
Reach Guinto Foodbeast
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A&W Has a New, High-End Clothing Line Called 'Cheddar Weather'
Janae Price Thrillist
A&W RESTAURANTS + COOMER

Liz Bazner, Senior Director of Marketing
Spencer Barrett, Digital Manager
Hannah Sither, Customer Service Specialist
Jen Stratton, Producer of Brand Content
David Coomer, Creative Strategy

INDEPENDENT CREATORS

Brooke Strozdas, Creative Director
Ana Maldonado-Coomer, Art Director & Illustrator
Elizabeth Withers, Fashion Photographer
Sarah Corbin, Publicist
Adam Padgett, Product Photography
Markus Cook, Cinematographer
Christina Moreland, Cartoonist
Caylie Mindling, Artist
Bri Bowers, Artist
Aliya Cox, Model
Zac Hamilton, Model
Karly Kiser, Hair & Makeup