home_and_garden com
Jun 4, 2024
(Updated on
Jun 4, 2024

The New Era of Sonic Drive-In: 'Drive' Into the New Campaign

In a bold move that signals a new era for Sonic-Drive-In, the iconic fast-food chain has bid farewell to its beloved "Two Guys" advertisements and embraced a fresh approach with the slogan "Live Free Eat Sonic." After two decades of the dynamic duo bantering in their car about Sonic's offerings, the company has decided it's time for a change. But what prompted this shift in their campaign strategy?

Photo by Inspire Brands 

Enter the Chief Ingenuity Officer (CIO) and his partner, Tia Saborita, heralding a new chapter for Sonic while still honouring its roots. Together, they helm the "Department of Research and Deliciousment," offering a whimsical peek into Sonic's menu innovation process. While the original duo may have taken a backseat, they're not entirely forgotten; bobblehead versions of them make an appearance as the CIO jokes about male-pattern baldness and wedgies before arriving at Sonic's futuristic R&D office.

The Campaign 

Step into the world of flavour with Sonic's latest 60-second ad extravaganza! Picture this: a family enjoying a meal at the quaint "Nothing Burger" joint when suddenly, the unexpected happens. The Chief Innovation Officer (CIO) arrives in a sonic van, disrupting their meal with a promise of a tastier existence: "Come with me if you want to live... a more delicious life." Intrigued, they follow him to the Research and Development office, where the magic unfolds. The ad is a spectacle of Sonic's iconic menu items, presented in a larger-than-life manner. Imagine an ice cave filled with delectable treats and a Tot-a-Pult launcher adding an extra dash of fun to the mix. The video ad closes with the brand's new mantra, “Live Free Eat Sonic”. 

Beyond the Campaign 

"Live Free Eat Sonic," a collaboration with creative agency Mother Los Angeles, will be showcased across a diverse range of media platforms, spanning linear TV, over-the-top services, digital channels, social media, and radio. Sonic will also launch LiveFreeShopSonic.com on June 17, an online lifestyle portal with exclusive merchandise and experiences. All proceeds from this initiative will be donated to support public education through the Sonic Foundation. Ever wish you could have Sonic’s iconic ice right at home? Well, now you can, as they are releasing nugget icemakers. Other items include sports accessories for post-meal adventures and much more merchandise. The campaign extends beyond traditional commercials, offering engaging opportunities for Sonic enthusiasts to support a worthy cause.

Photo from LiveFreeShopSonic.com 

Why the Strategic Shift?

Ryan Dickerson, who assumed the role of Sonic’s CMO in January following over five years at parent company Inspire Brands, highlights the current saturation of similar advertising in the fast-food landscape. Stressing the significance of storytelling and emotional connections with consumers seeking respite from daily monotony, Sonic’s “Live Free, Eat Sonic” campaign aims to offer humour and innovation. Dickerson emphasizes the brand's departure from mundane burger menus and flavours across competitors, striving to inject fun into dining experiences. The campaign serves as a platform for Sonic to narrate a comprehensive brand story beyond the confines of traditional car-centric campaigns. In a marketing environment where brevity is crucial, Dickerson underscores the importance of differentiation through narrative, noting consumers’ desire for broader engagement beyond product-focused ads.

Bringing Fun Back 

Sonic's latest effort aims to provide a lighthearted escape for consumers facing inflationary pressures, election-year stress, and declining happiness levels. Through their new campaign, Sonic seeks to inject moments of indulgence into the daily routines of both remote and office-based workers, breaking the monotony while leveraging their brand equity in menu innovation.

Sonic's latest initiative coincides with the nationwide release of Groovy Fries and Groovy Sauce, marking the brand's first fry update in over a decade. With a commitment to menu creativity and prioritizing fun and enjoyment, Sonic is offering Groovy Fries at a discounted price throughout June. These highly anticipated fries have crispy outsides but soft and fluffy insides, perfect to combine with the new Groovy Sauce. Sonic is celebrating by offering Groovy Fries in any size for just $1 throughout June, while supplies last. 

More From Sonic 

Sonic, with over 3,500 restaurants across 47 states, became a subsidiary of Atlanta-based Inspire Brands in late 2018. Their recent brand relaunch encompasses a comprehensive overhaul, including packaging, uniforms, colour palette, and a revamp of their food and beverage offerings. This initiative marks a significant milestone for Inspire, as it is the first time such a holistic effort has been undertaken by one of its sister brands.

These Insights might also interest you