Beating the Big Guys - with Burritos
A recent project I did this past weekend was a 2-day turnaround whirlwind. A local gas station wanted to promote their fresh-cooked breakfast. Why was breakfast food urgent and important? This station sit across the street from a brand new large-chain franchise gas station that typically sits about 1-2 cents cheaper per gallon. With gas, its a price game for many people, so for this place, we have to talk about their unique value proposition. Obviously, people who just want the cheapest gas are going to go across the street - this smaller company can't compete in the bottom-dollar arena, so we discussed why anyone should go there.
1. Hot, fresh, made to order food at their 24/7 grill
2. Superior quality gas & rewards program.
3. People service. Think of the "Cheers" of gas stations. They know their customers, they greet them, and they have loyalty because of this.
As our first project working together we decided to take a stab at the lowest-hanging fruit - the food. They already produce fantastic food - and they even advertise for it - but we felt the marketing needed some work. I agreed to shoot and design a series of window signage and interior posters to highlight their hot, inexpensive breakfast foods. The existing signage was produced rapidly and conveyed the message - but we felt the imagery and message were lackluster.
In addition to being poorly designed and shot - the messaging was split between two campaigns. I felt we could combine the messaging and create a 'louder' message that helped sell both key menu items.
I connected the messaging and initial design, got a quick approval and scheduled a photoshoot at their station the next day. Armed with my camera and a handful of dollar store plates, napkins and Home Depot black slate - I set up in a natural lit north-facing window and went to work. A quick photo compositing and cleanup later, and some artful tater-tot stacking - I feel confident their new campaign will convey the immense quality and value their deli offers over the 'heat lamp' food across the street. What do you think? Would you eat that burrito or buscuits and gravy for $4.99? I ate the photo props, and I can vouch - they're really good.
I created store-front mockups of the design & output files for window signage, door signage, posters and flyers keeping the messaging the same and the imagery different allowed the message to really hit the mark while capitalizing on the different food item's delicious appeal.
I hope that the "Just like your mom does it." doesn't kick start mom-jokes, but would speak to road-weary customers looking for "real food". Not microwaved freezer burritos, something that reminds you of mom's cooking. (I would like to take this opportunity to nod to those dads/aunts/grandpas/caregivers who were you childhood comfort food cook) - in this case, the space was tight and I wanted to simply convey home.
Look for more great advertising from this place in the future!