This weekend, I saw a TV spot for Denny’s, the favorite restaurant of long-haul truckers, rock bands, and stoners everywhere. Because I do not fit into any of the above categories–and because I’m a vegetarian, and Denny’s is not the world’s most veg-friendly restaurant–I didn’t pay attention to the spot. (No judgment on any of the above, btw. I used to eat plenty of meals at Denny’s.)

But I did notice the special-offer tag at the end:

This football season, if the Colts win by 24 points or more at home, you can visit participating Denny’s Restaurants within 24 hours and receive a free soft drink or cup of coffee.


First: the Colts play at home eight times this season. Which means that you have eight chances to win between now and the end of the year. So far, so good–although it’s not as if you have a chance to win every week.

Second: the Colts won at home by 24 points or more a grand total of zero times last year. In the past five years, there have been only five home games that the Colts won by 24 points or more. So our pals at Denny’s are not exactly taking a big risk.

Third: a cup of coffee or a soft drink costs Denny’s pennies. Let’s pretend for a moment that the cost of the soft drink and the cup is a dime–which, I’m guessing, is being generous to Denny’s. There are five Denny’s Restaurants around the beltway in Indianapolis, and let’s say they each can serve 100 people an hour in the 24 hours after the win. This would would make the cost of the promotion $1,200–maximum.

Now, I’m guessing that a) the actual cost of product is less than a dime; b) there’s no way each of the five Denny’s Restaurants around Indianapolis is going to average 100 guests an hour for 24 hours; and c) it’s unlikely the Colts are going to win at home by three touchdowns and a field goal, anyway. Although it would be awesome if they did, regularly.

Brilliant campaign strategy? Does Denny’s get credit for giving something to Colts fans, even though they’re probably giving them little or nothing? What do you think?

PS: In the spirit of Denny’s, Well Done will knock $2.00 off the price of every project we initiate within 24 hours of the Colts’ second two-point conversion in any game–home or away!–for the next two seasons. Offer does not include preseason or postseason games. Not valid with any other offers. Other conditions and restrictions may apply.