Restaurant chain Applebee’s has won the Grand Effie at the 2022 Effie Awards U.S. Gala for its “Fancy Like” Applebee’s campaign.
The campaign from Applebee’s and Grey New York, with contributing agencies Initiative Media, Current Global, Townhouse, and Barkley, saw Applebee’s partner with country star Walker Hayes and his hit ‘Fancy Like,’ that talks about date night at the restaurant to create a culture-shifting viral and sales sensation. With the launch of the “Fancy Like” Applebee’s campaign, accompanied by a “Fancy Like” meal, Applebee’s outpaced sales of competitors by 9.3% while simultaneously making “Fancy Like Applebee’s” the feel-good catchphrase of summer 2021.
“The magic of “Fancy Like” Applebee’s is in the details. Lots of brands set out to create virality and cultural relevance, but few achieve it. In our minute-by-minute world, the Applebee’s team was able to both seize a moment and give it staying power. They did that by mobilizing their most important and most influential brand assets – their servers, chefs, suppliers, communities, and of course, their customers,” said Kellyn Smith Kenny, EVP, Chief Marketing & Growth Officer at AT&T and 2022 Effie US Grand judge.
Fellow judge Kate Charles, CSO and Managing Partner at OBERLAND, said: “It was clear that the team was following the lead of culture versus trying to create it, which made it feel organic and authentic. “Fancy Like” Applebee’s also shows that a great idea can come from anywhere — if you’re ready. The only way to be that agile is with deep trust and partnership across all parties, and that teamwork is felt throughout this campaign – between the brand, the agency, Applebee’s employees, and their customers.”
“This campaign is proof that when people are inspired, a great idea can become contagious and extremely effective. This work is buzzy, lovable, and joyful–everything the world needs a little more of,” Kenny adds. “Congratulations to everyone involved.”
The Grand Effie was selected from the top scoring Gold Effie Award winners in this year’s competition, which included “Fancy Like” Applebee’s, along with:
- Change The Ref, Leo Burnett Chicago & Hungry Man Productions for “The Lost Class” with MSL Group, Unicorns & Unicorns, No6, and Tusk Strategies
- Diageo North America & Arc Worldwide for “Spirits to Fit Your Lifestyle”
- McDonald’s & Wieden+Kennedy NY for “McDonald’s Famous Orders” with The Narrative Group, Alma DDB, IW Group, and Burrell
- Cervecera de Puerto Rico/Medalla Light & DDB Latina Puerto Rico for “Sounds From Home”
- Reddit & R/GA California for “Superb Owl”
- The 2022 US Grand Effie Jury included Devika Bulchandani, Global President, Ogilvy North America; Kate Charles, CSO & Managing Partner, OBERLAND; Todd Kaplan, CMO, Pepsi, PepsiCo; Helen Lin, Chief Digital Officer, Publicis Media; Linda Knight, CCO, Observatory; Kellyn Smith Kenny, EVP, Chief Marketing & Growth Officer, AT&T; and Jouke Vuurmans, Partner & CCO, MediaMonks.
This year’s competition introduced a DEI category to the Social Good awards within the Positive Change Effies. A Gold Effie was awarded to Procter & Gamble and Grey New York for “Widen the Screen”. A Bronze went to Google, Google Brand Studio and Arts ; Letters Creative Co for “Space to Belong: Supporting Inclusive Spaces in Recovery”.
One Gold and one Silver Effie got awarded in the Sustained Success category, which recognizes effective work that has sustained measurable growth over three or more years. The Gold Effie went to JAMRS’ TodaysMilitary.com and MullenLowe U.S. for “Their Tomorrow,” and the Silver Effie was awarded to Keurig Dr Pepper/Dr Pepper and Deutsch LA for Fansville.
“The resilience and creativity within our industry never ceases to inspire me,” said Traci Alford, global CEO, Effie Worldwide. “This year’s winners were brave, agile and innovative in a challenging marketing landscape, and excelled across all four pillars of the Effie effectiveness framework to deliver growth and build their businesses. My sincerest congratulations to this year’s Effie-winning teams on this achievement.”
Effie also revealed the results of the 2022 U.S. Rankings, which reflect the total points from finalist and winning entries from this year’s competition. The U.S. Rankings will factor into the 2022 Global Effie Index.
- The highest-ranking companies from the 2022 Effie Awards US competition are:
- Most Effective Marketers: 1) McDonald’s 2) Change the Ref, Diageo, and Walgreens Boots Alliance [tie] 3) Mars and Molson Coors Brewing Company [tie]
- Most Effective Brands: 1) McDonald’s 2) Change the Ref and Walgreens [tie] 3) Applebee’s
- Most Effective Holding Companies: 1) IPG 2) Omnicom 3) Publicis Groupe
- Most Effective Agency Networks: 1) DDB Worldwide 2) Leo Burnett Worldwide 3) VMLY&R
- Most Effective Agency Offices: 1) Alma DDB 2) Grey NY 3) Wieden+Kennedy NY
- Most Effective Independent Agencies: 1) Wieden+Kennedy NY 2) Mischief @ No Fixed Address 3) Barkley and Hungry Man Productions [tie]