Magazine article ADWEEK

Baja Fresh Campaign Urges, 'Eat Life Up': Smart Bomb TV Spots Use 'Playets' to Promote Growing Restaurant Chain. (Regional News)

Magazine article ADWEEK

Baja Fresh Campaign Urges, 'Eat Life Up': Smart Bomb TV Spots Use 'Playets' to Promote Growing Restaurant Chain. (Regional News)

Article excerpt

LOS ANGELES Baja Fresh Mexican Grill concentrates on attitude more than food in its first major advertising effort.

The steadily growing 13-year-old quick-casual chain, which counts Rubio's Fresh Mexican Grill, McDonald's Chipotle and CKE Restaurants La Salsa Fresh Mexican Grill as rivals, turns to a campaign from Smart Bomb to fuel its aggressive expansion plans.

Baja Fresh, with 220 restaurants in 18 states, aims to have 550 units by 2005. The campaign launched last week in Phoenix, where 15 restaurants are located. Ads will roll out on a market basis, said Gene Cameron, vp of marketing for the Thousand Oaks, Calif., client.

Acquired last year by Wendy's, Baja Fresh targets consumers ages 25-49 who are "more sophisticated, have higher incomes and are better educated" than the typical fast-food consumer, Cameron said.

The Marina del Rey, Calif., shop's campaign includes TV and radio spots that introduce the tag, "Eat life up." Three 30-second TV spots, directed by Leslie Dektor of Dekcor in Hollywood, Calif., are meant to look like product placement in independent films, said Smart Bomb CEO and creative director Robert Chandler.

One spot shows a guy placing an order atBaja Freshwhile an attractive woman stands in line behind him. The clerk asks if he would like mild or hot salsa. Realizing his manliness is m question, he picks mild-but also claims to use "plenty" of hot salsa from the salsa bar.

Another ad features a woman and a guy discussing a phone number that another woman gave him the previous night. …

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