Making its mark as the company to run the shortest Super Bowl ad in history, Seattle-based Ivar’s Seafood Restaurants aired a 1/2-second regional television spot on Sunday.
“We found out that Miller [Brewing Co.] was doing a one-second ad, and our [ad] agency said, ‘Wouldn’t it be funny if we had a 1/2-second ad and then we could be the shortest ad on the Super Bowl,” said Ivar’s Director of Marketing Kirsten Wlaschan. “At first it was a brainstorm and then we thought we could really get some local attention.”
Ivar’s ran a promotion around the ad, giving half off an entrée to any viewer who could correctly name the two icons appearing during the 1/2-second spot.
“If we can get our name out there and into the marketplace it’s a win-win for the customers and for Ivar’s as well,” Wlaschan said. “It gets our name out there in a quirky and brand appropriate way and allows customers to take advantage of a really great offer.
“We have about 1,500 emails from our video contest — comments and stories of nostalgia saying it would be what [company founder] Ivar Haglund would do. I think we all need a little laughter to bring some humor to these times of economic duress,” Wlaschan added. Though many customers guessed that one of the icons was a duck, it was actually a seagull, an image that’s synonymous with the Ivar’s brand.
Ivar’s operates 27 quick-service seafood bars and three full-service restaurants: Ivar’s Acres of Clams, Ivar’s Salmon House and Ivar’s Mukilteo Landing. Ivar’s Seafood Soup and Sauce Co. produces and markets seafood chowders, soups, sauces and frozen seafood products to local grocery stores, the Washington Ferry System, and in airports, stadiums, universities and restaurants.
So far Ivar’s has received only positive feedback about the ad, Wlaschan said. One of the customer comments read: “We watched and watched, and folks kept asking, ‘Did we miss it?’ But when it came on it was unmistakable. Well done!”