US fast food brand serves-up 13 hour slow cooked ad

branding agency melbourne

When US fast food brand Arby’s was looking for a way to promote their Smokehouse Brisket Sandwich, they found the solution in the most obvious of places – it was literally baked into the product. Many marketers find it difficult to see beyond the paradigm of their category when looking for promotional ideas. We’ve written previously about the madness of brands mimicking their competitors within a category, and it’s always refreshing when we see the opposite. When Arby’s were looking for a campaign angle for the Brisket Sandwich, they looked no further than the slow cooked hero of the product. The Brisket smokes for 13 hours – which is a wonderful ‘truth’ to identify for a brand in the fast food category competing in world romanced by slow food.

The TVC shows a brisket being smoked for every minute of its 13 long hour cooking time at the Texan smokehouse that cures Arby’s brisket. At the very end of the ad Arby’s Chef; Neville Craw removes the brisket, slices it, and makes-up a Smokehouse Brisket Sandwich. The ad is shot as a 13-hour long film, principally of the meat being smoked in one continuous shot. It was broadcast on a single station in Duluth, Minnesota over the Memorial Day weekend before being aired online at and now on YouTube. The ad was also entered into the Guinness Book of World Records and broke the record for the longest television commercial. The previous record was 60 minutes, held by the brand Nivea for an ad that aired in Switzerland back in 2011. In the trend towards longer online content for brand advertising, this latest tasty morsel takes it to a whole new level.

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You can watch the whole thing here if you have more than half a day to spare…


Dave Ansett
Chief Creator of Brands
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