Why Does SONIC Marketing Support Work?
Television ad campaigns establish record brand awareness and loyal national fan base
For many years, SONIC has grown brand awareness across the nation by coming up with highly creative and engaging television commercials. Our television marketing campaigns have been enormously successful, winning over millions of fans and making it easier for franchise owners to enter new markets
If you’ve turned on a television recently, you have seen our new documentary-style commercials, which feature real SONIC guests in cars to showcase the diversity of their experiences and how SONIC is uniquely able to bring communities together. This new campaign, called “THIS IS HOW WE SONIC,” embraces the incredible people, experience and food at SONIC and celebrates the everyday moments that happen in the car with friends and family, or solo. From a couple reminiscing on 50 years of marriage over a tasty treat to a unique pre-softball game Tot eating ritual, we’re showing that in America’s infinite variety, a trip to SONIC can be part of almost anything.
This new campaign coincides with a new update to SONIC’s iconic logo, which is now red, white and blue, representing the freedom of the American road and our delicious food.
“We spent a lot of time focusing on ‘how do we memorialize our brand positioning,’ and what we really came to is: SONIC sparks moments of delightful possibility,” Claudia San Pedro, President of SONIC, told Nation’s Restaurant News. “The purpose of our brand is really about providing that little oasis in everybody’s daily routine. With the new campaign, we wanted to reflect, truly show, the whole of America and show the extension of how our guests explore freedom through our format, whether that’s the freedom to personalize, the freedom to go when they want and be who they want while they’re in the car. SONIC Drive-In expressly signifies that freedom.”
SONIC also partakes in other marketing efforts to continue growing brand awareness and extend the SONIC experience beyond the drive-in, whether it’s adding extra levels of convenience for our guests through the SONIC mobile app, connecting with them through social media, or being featured within national and local news for best-in-class menu innovations, community involvement and our success as a franchise brand
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,” says San Pedro. “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.”
Limeades for Learning with SONIC franchises
SONIC is passionate about supporting public school teachers and giving back to the communities it serves. Through the national Limeades for Learning program, in partnership with DonorsChoose, SONIC helps public school teachers access necessary learning supplies all year long.
This system-wide program includes multiple funding events throughout the year including Teacher Appreciation Month, a time dedicated to celebrate teachers, and the Fall Voting campaign, where SONIC donates $1 million to teacher projects across the nation by allowing guests to decide how the funds are allocated.
Since 2009, SONIC has donated more than $16 million to public school teachers across the nation, providing them with essential funds needed for learning materials and innovative teaching techniques to inspire creativity and learning.