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College Football Twitter got “Fancy Like Applebee’s” This Weekend

By: Alex Carter

Twitter weighed in, and I listened.

If you watched Week 1 of the College Football season this past weekend, you might have seen a little commercial from Applebee’s once or thirty-something times. This commercial highlighting the TikTok dance trend associated with the song “Fancy Like” by Walker Hayes, which mentions Applebee’s and some of their products, has driven college football fans crazy with its huge push, appearing multiple times over the course of various games (I counted 8 times during UT’s Thursday Night Kickoff game).

Applebee’s has gone all-in on the song with their advertising push and has even brought back their Oreo Shake that is mentioned in the lyrics. How have people on social media reacted though?

While 8 thousand mentions is hardly internet-breaking these days, the good news for Applebee’s is that their mentions on social media are up quite a bit, with 83% more conversation the past seven days than the previous seven-day period. The media trend shows that most of the conversations occurred during the college football games on Saturday, Sunday, and Monday. In fact, on Thursday, the conversation was mostly driven by people in Knoxville, a testament to the drive being due to their college football advertising spend.

The start to the season viewership numbers was a huge win for college football with TV ratings, as people across the country tuned in for kickoff weekend.

Obviously, Applebee’s got eyes and ears on the ad, and plenty of people talked about it on social media, which has to be a win for the insane spend they must have on the ad right?

*Note: “Applebee” is seen as a top word since Social Studio reads apostrophes as the end of a word in regards to top word analysis topic profiles included “applebees,” “applebee’s,” and “@applebees”*

Well, the conversation increase is not necessarily all good for Applebee’s. Sentiment turned from somewhat positive towards mostly negative on Thursday during the UT vs Bowling-Green game and trended mostly negative on Saturday and Sunday during the big games. Monday, things got a bit better, but over the past week, reactions have been split, for the most part, the sentiment around Applebee’s stands at 50.3% negative for the company.

Some people thought the commercial could be used to spur vaccination rates.

Others thought it was a national security issue that needs to be addressed at the highest of levels.

Others thought this may be an intricate ransom scheme.

Ok, maybe they are not too far off on that one.

It’s important to note that not everyone hates the song that 49% positive sentiment is not all sarcasm, it’s a popular pop-country song with a trendy dance. It may have earned Applebee’s some goodwill, and hey, if enough people learn about half-priced apps and $2 long island iced teas, it may be a solid spend for the struggling restaurant.

Repetition in advertising is a touchy area, as studies have shown that repetition can lead to better brand recall and even positive feelings in regard to brand attitude. However, too much repetition can lead to wearout and negative attitudes towards the brand overall. Too much repetition can also lead people to feel as if the brand is trying too hard, and actually may lead them to consider the brand as lower quality, focusing on advertising to cover up their problems.

What do you all think? Do you like the ad? If you watched the ad a dozen times during an afternoon of football, did you like the ad? Let us know what you think!