Why should children get all the comfort food when adults are the ones who really need comforting?
That’s the amusing premise behind Mischief’s new campaign for Chili’s, focused on its Chicken Crispers menu item. Chicken Crispers are basically chicken tenders, a dish usually relegated to the kids’ menu. But Chili’s Chicken Crispers are a larger-size, adult-targeted version, and the new spots play off the question of who deserves them more—children or adults.
The spots feature a deadpan Chili’s interviewer asking kids questions about their lives—passively aggressively insinuating that their carefree existence doesn’t earn them food like Chicken Crispers.
This first spot, for example, touches on adult stresses like finances, insomnia and lack of vacation time.
“We found ourselves kind of annoyed that kids get all of the good things when they don’t have to deal with any of the bad things,” said Dana Buckhorn and Tanner Thompson, associate creative directors at Mischief. “Kids don’t have pushy mothers-in-law. They’ve never spent an hour reading reviews of compression socks. They don’t unfailingly receive artisan bars of soap for their birthday. And yet they get to order the Chicken Crispers while we’re expected to order a pile of wet leaves.”
This second spot also leans heavily into financial worries, as well as the burdens of business travel.
“With our Chicken Crisper Combos, we took all the favorite bites a parent sneaks from their kids’ meal and turned them into an adult-sized meal,” said Jesse Johnson, VP of marketing at Chili’s. “We’re telling adults they don’t just deserve Chicken Crispers…but they deserve them even more than kids do.”
Along with the amusing narrative, the spots also don’t skimp on the product shots—with good-looking close-ups in every execution.
Here are two :15s to round out the flight:
Mischief has done a number of projects for Chili’s this year, including spots with R&B star Brian McKnight as a singing waiter and a stunt (inspired by real events) that offered free catering to the first three couples to propose at at a Chili’s restaurant.
Chili’s Chicken Crispers are available in Original, Nashville Hot and Honey Chipotle and served with white cheddar mac, fries, two dipping sauces and house-made ranch when ordered as a combo.