Wednesday, February 04, 2009

Denny's Grand Slam a Home Run?

With all the discussion about the best Super Bowl spots, I wonder which ones really generated the greatest return on investment. Some, like the Doritos spots, were wonderfully creative, but you have to push a lot of retail displays and pull a lot of consmer sales to generate a return on a $2.5-$3MM investment. Some, like Go Daddy, may not have creative that you appreciate but have an immediate call to action that allows measurable results (how many new domains sold this week versus the week prior?).

So what about Denny's? Free Grand Slam breakfasts on Tuesday after the Super Bowl. Postive ROI? One news report suggested that $2MM in free breakfasts were served. I don't have their data, but I suspect the cash cost was far less that the retail value of the free breakfasts. Even if it was $1MM, bringing the total cost of the ad plus meals t $3.5-$4MM, did the exposure and trial generation create enough new customers? I don't think so. When I drove past the local Denny's on Tuesday morning there was a line down the sidewalk (in 15 degree weather, too!). I can't imagine that the dining experience was very pleasurable with the hectic environment, crush of visitors and a burdened kitchen. Would that make you a loyal customer? Not me. (Not that I would wait in line for a free pancake...)

So, was the Grand Slam a Home Run? Let me know what you think.


Craig said...

I am going to simply say, "no." And for all the reasons you quoted in your blog, though I will say this... does time not have value to the people who waited so long for a mediocre (at best) breakfast? Did they buy a coffee (high margin), drink (higher margin) or leave a tip? For me, I would have paid the price of the breakfast NOT TO HAVE waited and endured the free breakfast.

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