Case Study
Sizzler

A fully firing integrated media plan

Sizzler case study

Client challenge

Sizzler, a full-service restaurant chain with a rich history dating back to the 1950s, faced a significant hurdle: dwindling brand awareness. Despite being a pioneer in the fast and casual dining sector, Sizzler’s presence had slowly declined over the years, leaving many Americans unaware of its continued existence. Additionally, the chain had grown to over 270 restaurants worldwide, but its retail footprint had been reduced to just 80 locations in the Western US and Puerto Rico.

Sizzler’s challenge was triple-fold: 

  • Reignite interest among lapsed customers
  • Increase traffic among current customers while capturing the attention of potential new customers
  • Establish new brand behaviors to boost engagement leading up to Sizzler’s brand relaunch 

 

 

 

Solution

To address Sizzler’s multifaceted challenge, we developed a comprehensive strategy. Firstly, leveraging comprehensive market research, we identified key audience segments and uncovered a compelling insight: despite media visibility and some negative publicity, Sizzler remained a cherished memory for many young adults who had fond childhood experiences at the restaurant. However, the prevailing perception that Sizzler had ceased operations was a significant barrier to reconnecting with this nostalgic audience. Notably, the top search query related to Sizzler was “Is Sizzler still in business?,” highlighting the urgent need to address this misconception and reassert Sizzler’s presence in the public consciousness.

To challenge this perception, our strategy centered on rebuilding Sizzler’s brand foundation through an integrated media approach. We aimed to establish a strong presence across diverse channels, ensuring that whenever individuals sought information about Sizzler, they encountered compelling content directing them to a nearby location.

Additionally, a brand relaunch strategy was formulated to coincide with the implementation of our integrated media campaign. This included the delivery of refreshed images and content that evoked positive emotions and memories associated with past dining experiences aiming to create excitement and anticipation among consumers. 

Execution of this strategy involved deploying a comprehensive media plan that combined paid, owned, and earned efforts to strengthen Sizzler’s local market presence. 

We kicked off our campaign in programmatic and paid search channels, leveraging audience intelligence to target specific demographics effectively. This included a back-to-basics approach, revamping Sizzler’s account structure and fine-tuning performance to ensure maximum impact. With a strategic account restructuring, we addressed any campaign deficiencies and crafted tailored messaging for distinct audience segments. 

Leveraging Performance Max, we piloted ads across three zip code clusters, swiftly expanding to all relevant clusters as success mounted. By strategically optimizing ad placements based on zip code nuances, our aim was to boost relevance, engagement, and ultimately drive conversions within each unique zip code segment.

Our attention then shifted to paid social where we delved into analyzing current activities. Recognizing the underperformance of the seasonal “business as usual” static creative, we pivoted Sizzler’s reliance on brand-owned assets by developing a creator strategy. Our always-on approach sought to reignite customers’ interest by engaging regional creators to showcase their local Sizzler restaurants through genuine reviews supported by campaign bursts, including “Cheese Toast Month” and “Iconic Pairings”. The activity was natively posted across both Meta and TikTok to reach our target audience as well as run as Partnership & Spark Ads to drive customers to Sizzler’s website.

In our SEO optimization efforts, we emphasized the importance of consistency and accuracy across Google My Business profiles, ensuring customers could rely on up-to-date information about Sizzler’s locations and offerings. Content recommendations aimed to boost rankings, while continuous site speed and technical checks monitored the new site’s performance for optimal page experience and usability.

For our Digital PR initiative, we embarked on a targeted, localized approach to reestablish Sizzler as an innovative brand. Sizzler teamed up with the beloved Full House star, Jodie Sweetin, capturing the business’ timeless allure, echoing Jodie’s iconic shrimp commercial from 36 years ago. This collaboration generated buzz across 400+ publications, including Today, Delish, and People, reigniting interest and excitement around the Sizzler brand.

Results

  • + 496 %
    More store visits
  • + 176 %
    Increase in click-through rate (CTR)
  • + 22 %
    More ‘Sizzler’ brand searches
  • + 49 %
    more ‘Sizzler near me’ searches
  • + 54 %
    Increase in conversions month over month driven by new Paid Social
  • 35 %
    Decrease in lower cost per store visit
  • + 94 %
    CTV programmatic video completion rate
  • + 400
    Pieces of coverage in notable pubs including TODAY Delish, Forbes, People, Restaurant Business Online and Tasting Table
  • + 70
    Creator videos across Instagram & TikTok generating 15.7M video views and 88K clicks