Zaxby's promotes founders' favorite with celebrity football Hall-of-Famer Terry Bradshaw; restaurant chain premieres spots on Facebook; debuts new Zappetizer.
-- Chain Leader, 1/8/2010 8:36:00 AM ATHENS, Ga. - Zaxby's has recruited Terry Bradshaw to tout its Kickin' Chicken Sandwich Meal in the chain's ongoing "Indescribably Good" ad campaign. A menu staple, the sandwich is the favorite of founders Zach McLeroy and Tony Townley, who opened the first Zaxby's almost 20 years ago. The childhood friends wanted to create something different that wasn't offered at other restaurants, and there's still nothing that compares today.
The Kickin' Chicken Sandwich combines Tongue Torch sauce and ranch dressing drizzled on top of the chain's famous Chicken Fingerz, served between slices of Texas toast. The meal comes with Crinkle Fries and a 22-oz. drink.
The commercials will air starting Monday, but the chain is giving its Facebook fans a sneak peek by debuting them on the popular social networking site on Friday at 10 a.m. at www.facebook.com/zaxbys.
"This sandwich is my favorite," said Zach McLeroy, CEO and co-founder of Zaxby's. "The Kickin' Chicken Sandwich truly represents Zaxby's and our menu attitude - delicious, flavorful food that's prepared at order."
Bradshaw also shows off the company's newest Zappetizers, Fried Pickles. This positively Southern snack is batter-fried and served with ranch dressing.
St. John & Partners, Zaxby's agency of record since 2003, created the award-winning campaign that began by capturing real people's unscripted reactions to eating Zaxby's food. The creative team for the television spots included David Bonner, executive creative director; Mark Kunert, copywriter; Mike D'Abreu, copywriter; Robert Haines, art director; and Connie Atkinson, director of broadcast production. The celebrity spots were directed by Randy Hackett, shot at MPS Studios in Dallas and edited by Radium in Dallas.
An alternative to fast food, Zaxby's offers menu items that are prepared at order. Zaxby's most popular items are its hand-breaded chicken fingers and its jumbo Buffalo wings smothered in a choice of nine sauces with expressive names like Wimpy, Tongue Torch, Nuclear and Insane. The menu also offers innovative Zappetizers and prepared-at-order salads, or Zalads.
Zaxby's, headquartered in Athens, Ga., has nearly 500 restaurants operating in 11 states, including Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas and Virginia.
Zaxby's founders Zach McLeroy and Tony Townley looked around their community and saw plenty of fast food or sit-down dining options, but felt something was missing. They decided to provide delicious chicken fingers and Buffalo wings in town. That hatched a simple idea to create a fun atmosphere where food quality is of the utmost importance. In 1990, they opened the first Zaxby's in Statesboro, Ga. The concept, one of the early "quick-casual" restaurants, proved successful.
McLeroy and Townley opened four more restaurants, and in 1994, they began to franchise the brand. The food and service was so popular, the Athens, Ga.-based chain has boomed to more than 485 units in 11 states (Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas and Virginia) and continues to grow.
According to Advertising Age, St. John & Partners is the largest independent general market agency headquartered in Florida. As a full-service advertising and public relations agency, St. John & Partners also has offices in Atlanta, Pittsburgh and Detroit. Clients include Ford dealer groups in 30 markets in 10 states, the Florida Lottery, PARC Management, Terrell Hogan, P.A., Winn-Dixie and Zaxby's. St. John & Partners is a member of WOMMA (Word of Mouth Marketing Association), the MAGNET Global Network and the WORLDCOM Public Relations Group. MAGNET is comprised of 40 independent advertising agencies in North and South America, Europe, Asia and the Pacific Rim. WORLDCOM is a network of independent public relations agencies with more than 100 offices throughout the world.