Is Olive Garden's Ad Effectiveness Really in Need of More Creativity?

Posted by Gary Getto on Jul 21, 2015 10:18:00 AM

Olive Garden is putting its creative agency account into review. Grey, which has had the account for 30+ years, is defending the business.  The client is looking for a more "creative" approach to their ads.


Olive Garden is putting its creative agency account into review. Grey, which has had the account for 30+ years, is defending the business.  The client is looking for a more "creative" approach to their ads.

Granted, Olive Garden’s ads are somewhat formulaic.  But, they do an excellent job of making the food look tasty and inviting, promoting a visit based on a good price or special deal, and instilling the feeling you’ll be treated like family when you arrive.   

Based on ABX data for the past 12 months (see chart below), Olive Garden’s ad effectiveness has been excellent compared to all ads we've measured!  

Olive_Garden_Ad_Scores_in_Chart

The chart shows the percentages ABOVE the "average ad effectiveness score" Olive Garden has achieved in various media by KPI. While the ads performed well overall (the ABX Index), they have generated strong Reputational impact, high Purchase intent, and strong Recommendations.

What's so terrible? Compared to its peer group, Olive Garden’s creative performance has been above average (yellow line) across all media types and has been near the top of its peer group with the exception of its print ads (see below).

Large_Version_Olive_Comparison

So, if Olive Garden’s advertising is doing what it is supposed to be doing…generating an intent to purchase, positive reputation, positive recommendations…why change?

What the Numbers Mean

To put this into perspective, Index values are a comparison of the results of an ad versus the average of all ads in the ABX database (100,000+ ads). Click for more information about definitions and methodology. 

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Topics: Restaurants

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