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Applebee's: Hand-Cut, Wood-Fire by Barkley

Agency: Barkley
Client: Applebee's
Date: May 2016
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In an effort to fight lackluster sales, restaurant chain Applebee’s has rolled out its largest advertising campaign in the company’s 36-year history in an effort to win over consumers with its new hand-cut steaks and wood-fired grills. The campaign was created by Applebee’s agency of record, Kansas City-based Barkley. When taking over the account last year, Barkley was tasked with re-imagining the brand for the modern consumer to help Applebee’s get its mojo back. According to Applebee’s, the brand has taken a hit in recent years due to “shifting consumer tastes and public perceptions” that have “challenged its business performance.” To change this, Barkley created a campaign called ‘Hand-Cut, Wood-Fire’ that focuses on the brand’s new USDA Choice hand-cut steaks, the primary focus of Applebee’s new “revamped and streamlined menu that elevates quality, flavor and freshness.” It also touts the wood-fired grills that will be installed in nearly 2,000 of its US restaurants.


Executive Creative Director: Jason Elm

Creative Director: Corey Favier

Creative Director: Doug Hentges

Art Director: Graham Green

Senior Producer: Ruth Collins

Senior Writer: Bryce Richardson

Strategy Director: Chris Cardetti

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