Legal Sea Foods is one of the strongest brand names in restaurants and we continue to be a vibrant and growing seafood eating experience. Our ongoing success is evidence of our ability to stay true to our roots as a classic, fresh, delicious and consumer focused restaurant, while staying relevant by evolving with our consumers.
The Welcome to Legal campaign was a fully integrated effort that used traditional and digital media strategies and tactics to engage and welcome a new underserved audience emerging from the growing cannabis culture in Massachusetts. We were inspired by weed being legal and our name literally being “Legal.” It's that simple and that obvious. Once we put that together the idea just flowed from there. We love to have fun in our ads. And this connection looked to be really fun. Weed becoming legal is a big deal, yet so few brands and places openly welcome weed enthusiasts. We were happy to embrace this newly liberated demographic.
After conducting market and consumer research, a few key findings caught our attention. There was an overwhelming conversation or “buzz” around the legalization of marijuana (stories from those who had been to dispensaries, and curiosity from those who hadn’t). We witnessed extremely long lines (along with product sales) at local Massachusetts dispensaries and increasing market potential, as several Massachusetts dispensaries were set to open their doors in the near future. Research into the community also indicated an untapped consumer interest in Legal Sea Foods among our target audience.
Circling around these findings, we created an integrated campaign to build excitement, news, passion, and create new customer relationships. Our budgets are always modest, but we had a few things going for us. One is that when people heard the idea, they just wanted to be part of it. We had great partners, especially in music and in the poster designs. And two, fish are kind of inherently psychedelic. Just look at them. We are still a family restaurant, so we couldn't go too overboard with the concept. That's why we chose a certain "dad humor" voice. It had to be funny and accessible to all.
Audiences were introduced to the campaign through :30s TV and OOH that featured funny fish puns overlaying psychedelic creative elements. Digital efforts leveraged relationships with multiple location-based advertising partners to develop an audience targeting pool that most closely associated with the culture to ensure digital ads were served to an appropriate audience where they would resonate. Our audience was carefully selected through a series of key targeting parameters that identified dispensary/headshop visitors and those that displayed cannabis related online behavior; whether that be visiting cannabis related sites or searching for content like Snoop Dogg or Bob Marley. We strategically served TV and digital display advertising at 4:20 to align with the culture even further. The time 4:20 also happens to be the perfect time to make dinner plans.
The campaign generated high conversion rates of ~10%, led by an advanced retargeting strategy in Paid Search that served Google search ads to an audience who had already interacted with campaign creative on YouTube and Google Display. The nature of the campaign led to a significant amount of media coverage that supported the overall objective of reach and awareness.