Silver: Best Buzz 2015

  • Campaign: Arby’s Meat Mountain
  • Brand: Arby’s
  • Agency: Alcone

Meat, and lots of it: That’s the capsule description of Arby’s campaign to make consumers aware that it serves much more than roast beef sandwiches.

The campaign began when the fast-food chain and agency Alcone created a point-of-sale piece featuring a photo of all the meats Arby’s sells. Corned beef, chicken tenders, bacon, Angus beef, ham, brisket, roast turkey, and of course roast beef were stacked one on top of another to create a “mountain of meat.” The protein-laden image grabbed the attention of Arby’s customers. Many, in fact, hungered for a sandwich that included all the available meats.

Always eager to sate customers’ appetites, Arby’s put the sandwich, now named the Meat Mountain, on its secret menu. Anyone who pointed at the promotional card on the Arby’s counter while ordering and said, “I want one of those” could now have it. Delighted consumers posted images of their towering sandwiches on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram and shared videos on YouTube demonstrating how best to tackle the Meat Mountain. Bloggers even took to debating the optimal order of the meats between the bun halves amid posts with titles such as “I Have Scaled Arby’s Secret Sandwich.”

More than 100 media outlets, from the Washington Post to Fast Company to The David Letterman Show, picked up the story, contributing to the more than 46 million media impressions generated. An average of 3,400 Meat Mountain sandwiches were sold each day—pretty meaty results. The takeaway here (other than perhaps a bloated stomach)? Listen to your customers, give them what they want, and they just might end up doing your marketing for you.