Why Does SONIC Marketing Support Work?
Two Guys ad campaign establishes record brand awareness and loyal national fan base
When you open a SONIC® franchise, you automatically tap into the media influence of one of the most successful QSR franchise ad campaigns of all time. With a decade-plus history of making consumers laugh and crave SONIC, our ongoing television ad campaigns catapult our brand recognition in all 50 states.
If you’ve turned on a television in the past several years, you have seen our Two Guys advertising campaigns, which hilariously promote our new products to millions of people across the nation. The power of a national cable advertising campaign, which actually connects with consumers and is a large portion of our $200 million annual marketing budget, is brand recognition. Geographic regions that are not yet home to SONIC automatically recognize our brand. This allows new franchise owners to enter into new markets where there is significant pent-up demand, leading to high initial traffic followed by sustainable return business.
“There has never been a better time to invest in SONIC because this contrast of national awareness of media on the one hand and available real estate on the other will never get better. From the investor standpoint, the open space, paired with having 12 months of ongoing media, is unmatched historically,” says President Claudia San Pedro.
National media recognition boosts ROI
Due to the national television campaigns, people in markets get to know our brand before a SONIC QSR franchise opens in their location. SONIC’s record brand recognition boosts media power and gives instant advertising dollar power to new restaurants in new locations.
“It really revolutionizes your ability to get a return on investment,” says San Pedro. “Years ago, you had to build enough brick-and-mortar stores in a market so you could afford TV advertising. Today, even with a single store, we start out with high-end TV advertising before we even open the doors. This builds brand awareness nationally as well as locally and it does phenomenal things for you.”
Community involvement is a core part of our culture
At SONIC, our franchisees are closely connected to the communities in which they work. Our franchisees become involved with local schools and organizations, hosting fundraisers and giving back to the community as much as possible. It’s common to see SONIC-branded signs throughout our small-town locations, from little league park sponsorships to fundraising drives. Those close ties make our QSR franchise a common thread in the fabric of many small towns and help franchisees build a profitable business that invokes a sense of pride in the community.
“SONIC operators and franchisees who really get involved in their communities see a phenomenal return on that investment,” San Pedro says. “We have a number of stores in smaller towns, scattered across much of the country, that do a pretty phenomenal amount of business. You ask yourself, ‘How do they make that work, in terms of the population? In terms of the traffic?’ A lot of that is because the brand has such relevance, but also because our franchisees and our operators have done such a great job of connecting with the community.”
We believe in giving back to our communities and have established system-wide programs such as the Limeades for Learning program, which has donated more than $11.7 million to local school projects since 2009.
This national initiative was founded to support public school teachers in local communities. In partnership with DonorsChoose.org, we help provide essential funds needed for learning materials and innovative teaching techniques to inspire creativity and learning in today’s youth. Over the course of the three-week campaign held each fall, SONIC fans can vote daily on their favorite projects, and the projects with the most votes get funded each week.