Smoked Wings Product Launch


Smoked Wings offer the taste you crave for half the calories. Sounds like a win-win, right? That’s what Hooters sought to find out with the launch of its new Smoked Wings in two test markets—Atlanta, GA and Oklahoma City, OK—prior to launching nationwide. The brand wanted to flip the script on what folks expect by offering a healthy (and tasty) alternative to fried wings, while also gaining a competitive advantage in the marketplace since Smoked Wings were not being offered by any of Hooters biggest competitors.

Morrison’s objective was to position the new Smoked Wings as a delicious, healthy food option, ultimately driving sales to prove that the investment for smoker ovens could quickly be recouped before implementing the new menu item across the country. Additionally, the campaign should easily carry over for use int he full launch, pending a successful test.


To promote the new Smoked Wings and drive trial, a full product launch strategy and program was created, consisting of both traditional and digital assets. First and foremost, we merchandised the wings in all creative, letting the food’s craveability speak for itself. Video and radio spots were produced, as well as a host of digital banners, emails, and social media assets. We focused on in-store promotion as well, with compelling table tents, menu inserts, window clings, and, for a bit of fun, fireman hats for the Hooters Girls.

Each asset contained a consistent message and design to ensure all campaign components were working together in unison, providing exposure at all consumer touchpoints.


The campaign was a huge success for Hooters. Throughout the first eight weeks of launching Smoked Wings in the test markets, store traffic and sales increased. Customers were upgrading to Smoked Wings over their regular wing orders, leading to increased profits for the brand. Smoked Wings also became the 2nd best-selling item on the menu.

The campaign also generated a significant amount of buzz and purchase intent. In the two test markets, Hooters saw an increase in online media coverage and social chatter, and Word of Mouth exposure more than doubled. Further, in the top 60 DMAs (two test markets included), the impression of Hooters quality reached its highest mark in the past three years, and Hooters customers claiming to have visited a Hooters in the past 30 days more than tripled.

After just two months in the test market restaurants, Hooters began the rollout of Smoked Wings to additional markets including North Carolina, Texas, and Virginia. In less than a year, Hooters has added Smoked wings to over 175 corporate-owned stores across the country. In addition, franchise stores will begin implementing Smoked Wings in Summer 2017.

And, lucky for all of us, the smoker equipment brings a new opportunity to Hooters kitchens to expand the menu with even more deliciously smoked items. Keep an eye out for new menu offerings!

  • Sales increases in the First 2 months
  • Tripled Customer Visits in Top 60 DMAs
  • Became #2 Item on Menu