I've been waiting for these numbers ever since I saw the ad on Sunday during the Super Bowl. Denny's, a restaurant chain that came out on Sunday as frickin' brilliant in their marketing, served more than 2 million Grand Slam breakfasts, for free, yesterday from 6 a.m. to 2 p.m. Lines at some Denny's locations across the country were hours long, as people queued up way before stores opened, bringing chairs and the like, to be sure they got their breakfast on. Some locations even ran out of pancake syrup! (The Grand Slam consists of two eggs, two strips of bacon, two sausages and two pancakes.)
From USAToday.com: The entire promotion — including food, labor and airing an ad on Sunday's Super Bowl — cost Denny's about $5 million.
"We're re-acquainting America with Denny's," says CEO Nelson Marchioli. "We've never been thanked this much — and folks are saying they'll come back."
The gambit earned Denny's something that money alone can't buy: positive public relations, and lots of it. By Denny's estimates, it got $50 million in free news coverage, almost all of it positive. No injuries — or police issues — were reported at any locations, say Denny's officials.
Understand that the $5 million is still less than running two 30-second ads during the Super Bowl. And they're right, this move earned them tons of solid public relations and happy customers. Honestly, I think it was remarkably perfect.