Launched in Amarillo, TX in 1989 by four partners - three of whom are still involved in the business to this day - Abuelo’s is now owned and operated by Food Concepts International in Lubbock, Texas. The family restaurant chain currently runs 25 full-service restaurants in eight states, serving up homemade, authentic Mexican food for dining in, takeout, delivery, and catering.
The Mexican restaurant was one of the first in the area to serve authentic Mexican food rather than Tex-Mex: “You can see [the founders’] DNA throughout the concept. Whatever we do, it’s food and hospitality and a sense of wanting to give people the experience of being transported to a nicer restaurant in Mexico,” says Robert Lin, president of Abuelo’s.
Warm service, community events, and mouth watering dishes are a match made in heaven for television advertising, but exorbitant linear TV advertising prices - even for local channels - led Abuelo’s advertising department to focus on lower funnel, more trackable tactics like PPC and social media.
In early 2023, the Abuelo’s team decided it was time to remind their customers of their made-from-scratch ethos and give TV advertising another try. This time, however, they would have the granular targeting and tracking capabilities of streaming TV on their side.
Their goals were clear:
COVID-era customer habit changes and lengthy highway construction near several Abuelo’s properties took a serious toll on their dining-in business, so foot traffic was the number one priority for their first streaming TV campaign.
The world of streaming TV advertising was completely new to the team of Abuelo’s advertisers, so they followed the recommendations of their digital marketing agency and chose to work with Vibe for a few reasons:
“Even though I’d never worked with CTV before, our customer success rep at Vibe accompanied me every step of the way,” says Debbie Hill, Director of Marketing at Food Concepts International. “He helped us understand how to deploy multi-strategy campaigns that could target our several markets with custom CTAs for each location, within one campaign.”
The Abuelo’s team needed to use one simple creative, focused on showing customers and prospects the superior quality of Abuelo’s dining experience while adding location-specific CTAs at the end, as well as targeting specific local stations per strategy.
Thanks to Vibe’s multivariate campaign feature, they were able to divide their budgets and customize their creative in just a few clicks. They then maximized reach by further dividing each strategy across local and premium inventory.
Because Vibe’s reporting dashboard provides real-time results, the Abuelo’s team was also able to monitor engagement and cost per session across target audiences selected for their income level, geo-location, or interest in entertainment and travel and optimize spend as the campaign ran.
After a great start to their campaign, yielding massive reach at an average $20/CPM, the Abuelo’s team decided to follow their customer success rep’s advice and launch a parallel retargeting campaign, allowing them to deliver Abuelo’s ads only on the televisions of their web visitors. Their Vibe retargeting campaign was especially helpful to bring back repeat customers, driving a large increase in web traffic and lower conversion costs.
Vibe’s multi-strategy and retargeting tools allowed Abuelo’s to optimize their campaign in real time and yield some impressive results, both online and in their dining rooms.
Next up for the Vibe and Abuelo’s partnership? Broadening the campaign to all locations! We’ll keep you posted on the results.