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Long John Silver's last night broke a $45 million branding campaign, the first work from new agency Jordan, McGrath, Case & Taylor, New York, which was assigned creative on the total $60 million-plus account little more than a month ago.

Humorous radio and cable TV commercials are designed to increase consumer awareness of the fast-food seafood chain.

In one spot, a woman is caught in a hotel room after sneaking away from her husband to eat fish sticks alone. In another, the driver of a car full of dogs quiets the howling hounds with some "hush" puppies. The tagline is "The meal you've been missing."


"We wanted to redefine the fast-food category and do work that wasn't being done," said Jeff Griffith, co-creative director at the agency.

But while being humorous, the agency worked to avoid the slap-stick approach of other fast-food advertising-particularly, said Mr. Griffith, the creative tack employed by Cliff Freeman & Partners, New York, for client Little Caesar Enterprises.

Mr. Griffith said the premise behind the creative approach was "to have the food be the climax" of the commercial's story.

While other restaurant chains-including fast-food leader McDonald's Corp.-are currently promoting price, Long John Silver's is using this initial effort from Jordan McGrath to help establish the brand.

"The focus right now is on brand-building and getting their name out there," said Mr. Griffith, who added that price will come into play down the line.

Mr. Griffith said that in pre-testing, "people didn't know what the brand stood for."

$911 MIL IN '95 SALES

According to restaurant consultant Technomic, Long John Silver's had 1995 U.S. quick-service sales of $911 million. The quick-service segment of Technomic's top 100 restaurant listing reported total U.S. sales of $70.8 billion.

Jordan McGrath will be involved in all aspects of the marketing of the chain, including "reader boards in the restaurants, POP and place mats to coupons," said Mr. Griffith.

"You can't say you've created a new attitude if people get to the store and see

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