Dixie has created ‘deadzone diners’ so people can talk instead of text during meals

Labor Day weekend is sure to bring with it lots of parties, picnics and barbecues as everyone gathers to bid adieu to summer, but how much of that time will be spent on phones instead of in conversation? To get people talking instead of texting, Dixie has rolled out a campaign featuring its ‘deadzone diners’ in the hopes of encouraging people to put down their phones once in a while so they can actually enjoy some real human interaction.

The initiative is part of Dixie’s ongoing ‘Be More Here’ campaign, which encourages people to enjoy meals without the distraction of texts, apps and calls. Created by Droga5, it debuted last summer with a ‘#DarkForDinner’ campaign that asked people to turn off their devices just once a week for dinner to spend time catching up with family and friends instead.

For its latest effort, the brand set up three ‘deadzone diners’ – pop-up restaurants with no cell signal – throughout Los Angeles to give people a chance to enjoy a free meal without the distraction of technology. At locations including a cave and a former Federal Reserve Bank vault, attendees could enjoy snacks like Dropped Call Carrots, No-Fi Pie and Can’t-Comment Croissants.

Carla Hall, restauranteur and co-host of ABC’s ‘The Chew,’ helped create the menu for the event, and some of her recipes can be found on Dixie’s site. The paper products brand has also partnered with BuzzFeed to create content around its ‘deadzone diner’ campaign.

Minda Smiley

Minda Smiley is a reporter at The Drum covering creativity and advertising. Based in Philadelphia, she primarily covers independent agencies and B2B marketing. She also oversees The Drum’s “Independent Influence,” a weekly series that spotlights the work, perspectives and inspirations behind independent agencies. During her time at The Drum, she has covered industry events including SXSW, ANA Masters of Marketing, 4A’s Transformation and C2 Montréal. She is a graduate of the City University of New York’s Graduate School of Journalism.

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