Founded in 1972, Tony Roma's is known as the birthplace of Baby Back Ribs. Roma's is an American classic that is remembered fondly by customers that grew up with its famous food. But the slightly upscale brand was beginning to get lost among other midrange chains that were pushing value in a waning economy. Sales were up, and the company was profitable, but it needed to re-establish its brand mystique as other brands were beginning to discover it was time to do the same.
After much digging, and a lot of dining, we concluded that Tony Roma could offer refined diners an experience unmatched by its competition. Roma's sells ribs, steaks and seafood, but it offers its audience a feeling they can't find elsewhere unless they pay a hefty premium. Adults want to feel like grownups when the eat out which is something they can't do at places like Chili's and Applebee's. If all restaurant brands were people, Tony Roma's would be the most compelling guy in the room, so that's who we created with a series of commercials starring a character who invites diners to escape the middle and trade up to something with more gravity than Friday's and Olive Garden.
The campaign launched in late 2011 and has been well received for its ability to differentiate Tony Roma's from the competition. A slate of commercials for 2012 promotions is already in the works.