Comfort food for uncomfortable times

Smashing sales goals for a new menu item at the height of the chicken wars


Smashburger enters the Chicken Wars.

Smashburger’s new 70% bigger chicken sandwich posed the perfect opportunity to spike transaction count and overall sales with a strong Q4 promotion. But how could we stand out in the “chicken wars,” when every fast casual and QSR was selling their version of the crispy chicken sandwich?


Crispiness isn’t as elusive as comfort.

While our competitors tried to “out crispy” each other, we opted for a more emotional appeal as fried chicken – the ultimate comfort food. By owning comfort, not crispy, we presented Smashburger’s new chicken sandwich as a golden fried escape from all the awkward, cringeworthy moments of life. It wasn’t just a sandwich, it was a fried chicken hug.

All video was shot and edited by Gammut Productions, our in-house content studio.

Media stressed the point.

Since the campaign was all about stressful, awkward moments, our media team created a custom Media Development Index that pinpointed media opportunities that would underscore that message — choosing locations, times of day, and situations that triggered stress.

Learn more about The Media Group at Partners + Napier.

A BOGO with a message.

We found an opportunity to bring comfort to those who don’t always feel welcome in “family-focused” big chicken chains: the LGBTQ+ community. Launched on a Sunday, “Comfort for All” Day welcomed guests to share our BOGO with anyone they love.


Comfort food fuels sales.

The promotion produced an 18% lift in total franchise sales (and one of Smashburger’s best sales weeks in years), and an 11% increase in chicken sandwich sales. The BOGO “Comfort for All” day produced a 153% increase in same-day sales.

Total Franchise Sales
Same-day Sales
Chicken Sandwich Sales