‘What the Favre?!’: 5 Questions With Buffalo Wild Wings CMO Bob Ruhland
It’s been a while since Buffalo Wild Wings did a TV advertisement about the switch behind the bar that disrupts plays in NFL games and decides the outcome. And it’s been a while since Brett Favre starred in a commercial that had significant relevance in the ramp up to the Super Bowl.
So this week, Buffalo Wild Wings has brought back both things in a new “What the Favre?!” TV advertising campaign that renews its “disruptor” messaging and also gives the Hall of Fame quarterback yet another new marketing platform. In the first ad, “Marionette,” Favre’s movements seem to be controlled by an unseen force. And the story will continue with ads up to and around Super Bowl LI on February 5.
Over the past couple of years, B-Dubs has broken away from the disruptor positioning on TV to emphasize other things about the brand. In 2015, for instance, Buffalo Wild Wings launched a campaign, “Football Rich,” which emphasized the immersive experience of watching football on the chain’s multiple huge TVs with dozens of other fans. And last year, it launched a “15-Minute Lunch” promotion.
But fans and even athletes have pointed a finger at Buffalo Wild Wings on social media when unexplained events or an unseen force occurs during a big game, asking the brand to #HitTheButton and influence the outcome. Last year, B-Dubs said it saw 12,000 social interactions in which fans called it out, asked for help or were even angry about the final result—including more than 3,000 tweets during Game 7 of last fall’s World Series in which fans asked the brand to intervene.
brandchannel talked with Bob Ruhland, CMO of Buffalo Wild Wings, about the campaign and his industry:
bc: How have you been marketing B-Dubs since the highly successful “disruptor” campaign broke a few years ago.