You've got to admit: Denny's attempt to re-brand itself is pretty genius. After marketing itself all these years as a "family restaurant," the company recently shed that term and launched a new campaign advertising itself as an inviting, friendly, authentic "diner."
The new slogan: "America’s diner is always open.”
The timing couldn't be more perfect. Americans crave greasy comfort food and have a love for all things nostalgic. In fact, the new ad campaign is pretty spot on -- except for one thing (maybe two). *Sound of screeching brakes.*
Denny's offerings aren't "authentic" comfort food that you'd find in one of those awesomely cool vintage roadside diners. And, most Denny's franchises aren't *always* open!
Keeping with the diner theme, new ads for Denny's feature friendly strangers eating value-menu items at counters (versus in booths). Here a spokesperson for the company explains the connotations behind the re-branding:
People think of the brand as a diner, with great comfort food at a great price, and they feel that incredible warmth and incredible connection to the servers ... There’s a soul to a diner that is very authentic, very warm, very accepting.
Forgive me for calling BS on this new branding, but it's going to take a lot more than stools at a counter and a waitress calling a male customer "hon" for Denny's to remind me of a down-home, dirty diner (and I use that term most endearingly).
To me, a true diner is a place that's been around so long its decor is actually "retro" (read: old) and not "retro-style." It has awesomely delicious pancakes and even better omelets. The fries are killer, outdone only by the greasy burgers. And, while I enjoy a Grand Slam Breakfast just as much as the next person, that term is nowhere mentioned on an authentic diner's crusty, crumbling, ketchup-stained menu.
Furthermore, a true diner is open 24 hours, seven days a week. While I know that 24-hour Denny's do exist, all the ones I happened to come across closed at 9 p.m. How is that "always open"?
Sorry, Denny's, but you're going to have to try a bit harder before I can stomach the whole diner comparison.
What do you think of Denny's new diner marketing campaign?
Image via Exile on James Street/Flickr