Applebee’s is not only a neighborly restaurant brand, but it's virtually friendly, too, chatting away on Twitter and Facebook to connect with customers. Now it's purporting to parlay its social media savvy with a tongue-in-cheek campaign. “Life Is Better Shared” is a series of social media tutorials, riffing on our obsession with living life online and scoring a wacky, humorous, double-play.
The main message being proffered across multiple channels including YouTube, Tumblr, Twitter, and Pinterest is “to promote Applebee’s as the number one spot in America for women to enjoy a much needed girls night out – any night of the week,” with an Applebee’s Girls Night Out Goddess as hostess. Grab your BFF’s and 'enjoy delicious food and tasty drinks.'"
The secondary message: “While sharing online is rad, sometimes life is better shared offline. A little more face time and a little less Facebook can do the soul some good. That’s what this campaign is all about - spending time offline at Applebee’s with your BFF’s. Talking without the use of abbreviations. Actually laughing out loud instead of just LOLing. Sharing those dirty little secrets with your besties you would never share with your entire social network.” And, of course, ordering entrees and apps to share with those besties over girl's night out drinks at Applebee's, right?
The campaign was created for Thomas & King, the 16th largest Applebee’s franchise in the United States, with 88 restaurants in Kentucky, Ohio, Arizona, Indiana, and Pennsylvania, by Cornett Integrated Marketing Solutions.
Reactions have been mixed during this week's debut, according to a campaign spokesperson. “Some good and some bad. It’s been described as 'brilliant.' It’s been described as 'hilarious.'It’s been described as “condescending.” It’s been described as “Applebee’s thinks women need to get offline.” I guess that’s what happens when you use social media to poke a little fun at social media.”
To say anymore would be a spoiler, so take a look at some of the videos that form the backbone of the effort and see what you think:
Pintastic with Judy Greene
Tweet Beat with Helen Keeneland
The Roost with Jennifer Gamm