Agency News

Celebrated Chef Rick Bayless “Smashed It” With Smashburger’s® New Signature Menu Item

Partners + Napier Creative Supports Roll-Out of Chorizo Cheeseburger by Bayless
November 17, 2021

After months of collaboration, Smashburger® is rolling out a spicy new menu item: the Chorizo Cheeseburger by Chef Rick Bayless. The introduction is being supported by new digital and point-of-sale ads under the “Smashed It” campaign umbrella that break the week of Nov. 29. The work was created by Smashburger’s agency of record Partners + Napier.

The spot opens with tantalizing shots of the Chorizo Cheeseburger being held by the celebrated chef himself. One spot asks the question: “Could anything be more amazing than Chef Rick Bayless showing off Smashburger’s new Chorizo Cheeseburger?” The answer is revealed when the camera pans back to show a highly flexible Bayless, an avid yoga practitioner, doing a full-on split on his prep table.


Bayless has long been known for his contemporary take on authentic Mexican cuisine, starting with two highly popular restaurants he opened in Chicago in the 1980s. His fame spread when he clinched the title on Bravo’s “Top Chef Masters” in 2009. He has since earned multiple Daytime Emmy Nominations for Best Culinary Host on his highly rated Public Television series: “Mexico–One Plate at a Time.” Along the way, he has also authored nine cookbooks, and opened seven restaurants, the most recent being a fast-casual eatery called Tortazo in New York and Chicago. Bayless has plans to take Tortazo nationwide with the backing of Jollibee Foods Corp., which owns a majority stake in Smashburger.

“Our Jollibee connection sparked the idea to have Chef Rick Bayless create a signature burger for Smashburger that literally blends his passion for Mexican food with our 100 percent certified angus beef burgers,” said Scott Johnson, Head of Marketing at Smashburger and Jollibee North America. “Smashburger is all about elevating the burger experience with a culinary flair. Who has more flair than Rick Bayless?”

In researching his background, the creative team at Partners + Napier readily agreed.

“When we launched the ‘Smashed It’ creative platform in early 2020, we aimed to create moments for burger connoisseurs who ‘smashed it’ in their everyday accomplishments to celebrate with Smashburger,” said Rob Kottkamp, Chief Creative Officer at Partners + Napier. “Rick is a natural fit for the ethos of the campaign. Yes, he’s a great chef and a highly successful restauranteur. He’s also an author, TV host, writes and performs in plays, gardens spectacularly and throws unforgettable parties. The fact that he does the splits as part of his daily yoga routine is another fascinating facet of this amazing guy. He not only smashes it in the kitchen, he smashes it wherever he goes and whatever he does."