3 near-identical ads. 2 un-interesting, 1 surprisingly compelling. Just change a bit of wording and formatting. Read on to find out what makes these ads curiously different.
TryCaviar.com is a food delivery “startup”. They’ve plastered Montgomery Station with about 20 advertisements, to encourage people to try their service.
Ad #1 – Delivery by Caviar
“Love Great Food?”
Yes but who doesn’t? This is like online dating profiles where your “match” likes “hanging out, eating great food, and traveling!”. Next. Oh and the primary headline is “Delivered by Caviar”, and the domain is the biggest thing on the poster. Blowing up the name of the business is a telltale that this ad is a dud.
Ad #2 – Ike’s Place
Name of a Restaurant! The Name of a Restaurant!
The Name of a Restaurant isn’t a headline. It says nothing. It’s like going into a crowd and saying “John!” loudly over and over again. No one cares. (Maybe if the Restaurant was well known, like “McDonalds”, this would work?). Ike’s Place Delivered would have been better.
Ad #3 – Ike’s Delivered
I liked this ad the most. It made me realize what TryCaviar was really about.
I had a vegan meatball sandwich from Ike’s 6 months ago. Memorable and amazing. They only make delicious sandwiches. The issue with Ike’s is the hour long wait. You stand in line for an hour to get one of their sandwiches. It’s *that* good. I’m excited about going again and “Ike’s Delivered” caught my eye.
TryCaviar.com – “I can sit at home and watch Buffy Vampire Slayer, and get Ike’s put into my mouth. WIN.”
I don’t think it’s a coincidence that I found the shortest ad to be the most effective. It’s not that more words is bad. It’s that with the bigger format ads, the designer added in a bunch of weak copy. With the ad on the pole, they had to trim it down to the bare minimum, and in the process they accidentally (?) came up with a great ad. I would take that ad, identify 10 other restaurants that meet the same criteria as Ikes, and put those variants on the walls of Montgomery station.
Other restaurants – Little Star
I love Little Star Pizza. There’s a set of Caviar ads in Montgomery Station featuring Little Star Pizza (swap out “Ikes” for “Little Star”, you get the point). But getting Little Star delivered is less appealing to me. Little Star is a destination, I can hang out there and have a party, and even though the pizza takes awhile, it’s a fun event. I can get delivery by calling up the restaurant, too. Ike’s really resonated with this idea of food delivery, but Little Star didn’t.
Other restaurants – Cha Cha Cha
I’d never heard of the 6 or so other restaurants before. These ads carry no value to me. I don’t care they exist, and don’t need them delivered.
As an advertiser, these ads don’t enable you to figure out which posters were effective! Simply putting a 3 digit code after the URL would be great. I guess you could look at inbound traffic where the visitor typed in the URL, but that’s tough. I checked out Caviar’s website, and Ike’s was the 3rd restaurant I clicked, even though that was the ad that got me interested. If they’re going to pursue this line of advertising, they should use more tracking to figure out what restaurants resonate with their “iconic food” campaign.
#3 is Best
I liked ad #3 a lot more than #1 and #2, and much more than any of the other restaurants featured in the campaign. I thought it was interesting that of all 20 posters in the campaign, only 1 spoke to to me. But is #3 a good ad? I’d say it works great for Ike’s restaurant. Are there other restaurants with the same criteria where Caviar.com sounds appealing?
Ike’s = insanely delicious food + long wait times + lame location + no delivery + I have heard of it
Maybe Ike’s is the only place that fits this campaign well. (Papalote’s Burritos and Tartine may good candidates for me.) But this is a pretty narrow criteria to say “X Delivered” and have it be meaningful. Overall, the message of this advertising campaign might be too narrow to bet the whole business on. But for me & Ikes, it works great. I’ll be ordering Ike’s lunch this week and watching Buffy, and in true food delivery fashion, I won’t be wearing pants.