Outback hopes Carrabba's can carve out a piece of the casual-Italian dining niche occupied by Darden Restaurants' Olive Garden and Brinker International's Macaroni Grill.
The brand-building campaign from McCann-Erickson Worldwide, New York, will first air in the chain's most mature markets, including Asheville, N.C.; Denver; and Naples-Fort Myers, Orlando and Tampa, Fla., said Andi Jacobs, director of marketing.
"Those are the markets where we've achieved media efficiencies," she said.
The chain also operates units in Texas, although they aren't slated to receive the TV effort, Ms. Jacobs said.
Carrabba's currently uses spot radio to promote the chain.