Arby's is ditching its "Slicing up freshness" tagline and is hoping to appeal to a younger audience with a brand refresh and new tagline, "We have the meats."
The impetus to refresh the brand's image is aging customers and missing Millennials, the biggest fast-food cohort. "Arby's has the second oldest customer base in the QSR industry and we didn't want Arby's to grow old with that customer base," said CMO Rob Lynch. "We want to serve, refresh, delight our current customers, as well as build a new customer foundation for the next 50 years."
The move also comes are Arby's fights to reverse some erosion from last year, when it posted a systemwide U.S. sales decline of 1.5%. It's the 21st largest chain in the U.S. by sales, and it increased its unit count in 2013 by 0.7% to 3,380 locations.
The campaign was created by Publicis Groupe's Fallon in Minneapolis, which picked up the account in January. When the chain chose Fallon, Mr. Lynch said it was because of the quality of ideas the shop presented, which he described as a "brand vision."
Creative duties had previously been handled by MDC Partners' CP&B since February 2012, when Arby's then-new CMO, Russ Klein moved the account there from BBDO. CP&B created the "Slicing up freshness" campaign, displacing BBDO's "Good mood food" effort.
Mr. Lynch put the account into review just a month after he joined the company in October 2013.
The chain in the last few years has run through a number of different approaches, trying to play up its freshness. This campaign takes a humorous and slightly absurd approach, especially compared with the unironically positive "Good mood food" campaign. It includes a slew of TV spots, some of which promote proteins beyond roast beef -- where Arby's got its start -- such as bacon and turkey.
Visually, most of the spots focus on large hunks of meat with a voiceover.