Denny’s All Nighter Campaign Continues To Be Totally Surreal
Denny’s will “rock” again. The beloved diner chain is undergoing some kind of a Pete Wentzification to appeal to young poppy punk types. To get its median age down below the speed limit, it is undertaking a Denny’s All Nighter promo, and grandpa’s Muzak will be swapped for alt rock from 10 p.m. to 5 a.m. Also added for the wee hours for the wee ones: a dimly lit club ambience and a waitstaff that will swap black slacks and collared shirts for T-shirts and . . . dungarees!
The venture involves a menu that only a stoner on a crash diet could love. On it are Potachos (“Dude, it’s like french fries married nachos and had an awesome baby!”) and Sweet Ride Nachos (cinnamon sugar chips, hot fudge and whipped cream). Do not–repeat–do NOT stand between a stoner and his nachos.
But wait, there’s more. The All Nighter effort features a music blog and social networking. An “Adopt-A-Band” program lets visitors choose which emerging touring bands should get promotional support and free food from the company. OK, that’s pretty cool, especially if Denny’s is making sure that skinny emo boys are eating their vegetables. More than 1 million votes have been cast so far.
As a long-time supporter of Denny’s late-night menu, I will note that the last thing the restaurant is interested in is making sure that people eat their vegetables. While much of this ad campaign seems ridiculous, I’m glad to see Denny’s appreciates the congregations of drunk college students and wishing-they-were-drunk high schoolers who stumble in long after the dinner crowd has left. The latter especially deserve a place they can congregate, with most suburban areas losing any semblance of a downtown. And hey, a kid eating Sweet Ride Nachos is a kid not screaming from inside a Wal-Mart shopping cart being hurled across the parking lot. Unless they do both.