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O’Charley’s Promotes Proper Hot Chicken in Campaign from BOHAN

The Marketing Standard, 7 months, 2 weeks ago

New campaign reasserts the brand's southern roots

O’Charley’s Promotes Proper Hot Chicken in Campaign from BOHAN

Regional casual dining establishment O’Charley’s Restaurant and Bar, a 45-year-old brand born in Nashville, is reasserting its southern roots with the roll-out of a new southern-inspired menu promoted through an integrated advertising campaign from BOHAN.

A new series of television ads with a humorous edge are scheduled to appear in 15 regional markets beginning January 25. Both ads highlight O’Charley’s newly introduced Nashville Hot Chicken, a dish that has gotten national coverage as one of the hot food trends of 2016 and is also being advertised nationally by other restaurant brands, such as KFCTM. 

One ad features a family dining out at O’Charley’s with the father asking, “Can the Hot Chicken be not Hot?” 



As the restaurant becomes silent, his embarrassed young daughter apologetically notes “Dad’s from Vermont.” The other takes a gentlemanly poke at the new QSR “Nashville Hot Chicken” offering. The ad opens with a slow shot of a familiar-looking box of chicken as the voice over notes: “Hot Chicken from Kentucky?” And then in what any Southerner would recognize as a sarcastic comment, the announcer says, “bless their hearts.” 

“We are proud of the fact that we are from Nashville, where hot chicken was invented.  The growing popularity of our home town dish is a great opportunity to remind people of our own roots and the great southern food and hospitality our restaurants offer,” explained David Ellis, VP Marketing at O’Charley’s.

Earlier this month, O’Charley’s announced a new “southern inspired menu” that includes its own Nashville Hot Chicken Sandwich as well as Fried Green Tomatoes, Savannah Crab Cakes and Farmhouse Chopped Steak. The new offerings add to an already rich menu of recipes from the south such as crispy fried pickles, Southern Pecan Chicken Tender Salad, Louisiana Sirloin and a growing cocktail menu featuring new Woodford Palmer, Southern Punches, and Moonshine.

BOHAN began the introduction of a fully integrated ad campaign to support the new menu launch in early January.  The campaign includes television, print, in-store, out of home, and social media elements.  

“Nashville and Hot Chicken are both rising in national awareness and that’s a good thing for a brand like O’Charley’s that is authentically southern,” explained Jon Arnold, Executive Creative Director at BOHAN.   

O’Charley’s was founded in 1971 by Nashville restaurateur Charlie Watkins. The original sign noting “Everyone who walks through this door is a friend of mine,” still hangs over the original restaurant where Johnny Cash, Chet Atkins and other local celebrities were frequent guests. 

Creative Agency

Creative Agency: BOHAN