Los-Angeles shop Pitch has been named the lead agency for casual-dining chain Bonefish Grill, which will be undergoing a rebranding.
Until now, Bonefish has not done much traditional advertising and has relied on WPP digital agency Blast Radius for its marketing. Bonefish handled the review process internally.
Despite its relatively low location count -- it has about 200 locations in 34 states -- Bonefish Grill has been positioned as a step above casual dining chains like Red Lobster and Chili's. Pitch President Rachel Spiegelman said that Bonefish's new campaign coming next year will reposition the brand as an innovator with an atmosphere better than other full-service chains. She said that will be a challenge given that the category is often viewed by consumers as a "sea of sameness" in its advertising, with constant value deals and product shots.
"They want to make sure that they're standing for something, to really highlight what makes them unique," said Ms. Spiegelman. Bonefish, she said, will position its value around quality food. Among full-service restaurants, Bonefish Grill rates the highest among millennials for providing healthy options, according to Technomic.
Part of the Bloomin' Brands restaurant group, Bonefish is the second-largest chain in the full-service seafood category after Red Lobster, according to Technomic. Although Red Lobster is the biggest chain by a wide margin, Bonefish's systemwide sales were up nearly 12% in 2013 to $573 million, while Red Lobster's were down 3.1% to $2.4 billion.
"We're looking forward to working with Pitch," said Bonefish Grill's Chief Marketing Officer Desmond Edwards in a statement. "This is an exciting time for us as we continue to introduce and bring awareness to new food and beverage innovations."
Bloomin' Brands spent about $37.2 million on U.S. measured media in 2013 for Bonefish Grill, according to Kantar Media. The company's largest brand, Outback Steakhouse, had about $192 million in measured media spending.Pitch is perhaps best known as the agency responsible for the bulk of Burger King's U.S. work, though the shop also recently picked up pieces of the Pepsi business, and just last month was acquired by Project Worldwide.