Four A&W employees based in central Kentucky–Gerald, Hannah, Raider and Jada—are what A&W calls the “locally sourced celebrities” in the campaign, and each has their own custom meal. The photography juxtaposes the employees and their personalized A&W meals alongside other fast-food chain’s celebrity tie-ups. Hannah, for example, is pictured pouring dipping sauce onto a sandwich, recalling a Popeyes photo showing Megan Thee Stallion in a similar pose. Gerald leans on a car with his meal, mimicking Travis Scott’s spots for McDonald’s.
Creative agency Coomer created the campaign based on recommendations from A&W’s field marketing units. It includes the “anti-celeb” meals in custom packages as well as new uniform t-shirts, banners and signage. These assets are customizable for individual franchisees, the company said.
In stores, the “Anti-Celeb Meal” campaign is replacing marketing assets and point-of-purchase creative that’s normally reserved for A&W Restaurants’ limited-time-offer menu campaigns. Materials include yard signs promoting hiring that resemble its meal boxes. It is being supported through corporate social channels.
According to a July survey by the National Restaurant Association, 75% of restaurant owners said that recruiting and retaining employees was their top challenge, up from 8% in January.