Advertising Works, And I’m Proof!


not a chainAs advertisers, we sadly see companies represent themselves only as the way the public perceives them. They fail to define themselves by what they truly stand for and believe in. Unfortunately, we have seen that these types of stereotypes can make or break a company’s reputation and influence the effectiveness of their ad campaigns. Ads shouldn’t be created by what the target audience wants or expects to hear, they should represent a company’s standards and what they ultimately want to be known as.

I have actually recently experienced the power of an authentic advertising campaign.

On a gorgeous Saturday afternoon, a few weeks back, my husband and I went down to the Seaport area to have lunch and enjoy the city. We walked around for a bit, thought about grabbing a burger at Jerry Remy’s or guacamole at Temazcal. It was a beautiful day, so we headed to Legal Harborside and sat at a table on their rooftop. When we arrived, the line already had about 30 people waiting and looked like it could be awhile before we were seated. But, we waited anyway –is there anything better than having lunch on the roof on a beautiful summer day in Boston? No.

We ordered several rounds of sushi and sangria and enjoyed the atmosphere for hours! It was fantastic. Everything from the food to the service was top notch and we have been talking about that day ever since. You’re probably wondering what my sunny afternoon has to do with advertising- the answer is, everything.

So when I saw Legal’s new “Not a Chain” campaign for the first time, I was immediately brought back to that day.

When I think about chain restaurants, I usually envision popular establishments like; Applebees, Uno’s, Bertucci’s and other restaurants of similar caliber. The times where I have visited these chains, I haven’t noticed a long line out the door- this could be because I don’t frequent these restaurants often enough, but I usually don’t run into such a willingness to wait for great food as I did at Legal’s. Don’t get me wrong, I love the occasional visit to a “chain” restaurant.

In the series of ads, Legal Seafood’s CEO Roger Berkowitz sternly states that even though they have several locations, each of their restaurants is unique, not cookie-cutter. In an interview with the New York Times, Berkowitz stated that “there’s sort of a built-in prejudice about [being a chain] that really doesn’t define who we are and what we do.”

What I like most about this campaign is that Berkowitz is telling everyone what his company stands for. He is refusing to accept a mold for his company and is speaking through his advertising to erase the stereotype. We tell our clients one of the most important things they can do in advertising is define themselves. It’s up to the client and their advertising teams to define a brand and let the company’s message speak through it.


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