Swiss Chalet to launch 24/7 Rotisserie Channel

The QSR is taking branded entertainment to the next level with an all-chicken channel on Rogers digital cable.

It’s 6 p.m. All over the country, Canadians are arriving home, flopping down onto the sofa and watching TV while wondering what to make for dinner. They’ll see lots of commercials with helpful suggestions but starting Feb. 28, there will be an entire channel dedicated to one dinner idea exclusively: rotisserie chicken.

Swiss Chalet is debuting an all-chicken, all-the-time, digital TV channel on Rogers cable, appropriately named Rotisserie Channel. Like the classic burning Yule log before it, the Rotisserie Channel will feature roasting chickens 24 hours a day, seven days a week, for the next three months.

As the chickens rotate (on Rogers’ channel 208), a promo code will regularly appear, driving viewers to Swiss Chalet’s Facebook page to claim an offer. The deals will differ every day and when the viewer inputs the coupon code to the appropriate page, it will deliver a printable coupon customized with the recipient’s name.

Swiss Chalet’s MAOR is MEC in Toronto and its AOR is BBDO Toronto.

The idea came out of BBDO’s creative concept for the campaign’s TV spots, which feature a Swiss Chalet employee fantasizing about having an all-chicken channel on TV.

‘That’s when we got the phone call [from BBDO],’ Deborah Aldridge, communications strategy director, MEC, tells MIC. ‘[They were asking] ‘do you think we could have our own TV channel?!” And, of course, our initial reaction was, ‘we have no idea!”

But from that point on, it was surprisingly easy to get everyone on board, explains MEC broadcast supervisor Jenny Croswell, who spearheaded the media strategy.

‘We have a really good relationship with Rogers Cable and we’ve worked with them a lot in the past. I phoned my contact there and asked if we could have our own TV channel similar to the fireplace, sunset and aquarium channels and within a week and a half we had confirmation that we could actually do it.’

‘Everyone was surprised,’ she continues, with a laugh. ‘I think they asked me a couple of times if I was serious and I was like, ‘yes, of course I am!”

Viewership will be measured via Rogers’ digital cable set-top boxes. Currently the cableco manages data on a monthly basis – in January, for instance, 166,950 set-top boxes tuned in to the Aquarium channel with an average per-tune-in watch time of 11 minutes – but MEC is hoping for daily data so it can tailor the Facebook CTA to peak viewership periods.

The Rotisserie Channel will be supported with TV ads – the first round are currently in market – as well as featured placement on the Rogers ‘Quick Start’ digital TV menu and promotion through Swiss Chalet’s Facebook page and website. Today, the brand is releasing a ‘trailer’ for the channel on its Facebook page and via eblast to its email subscribers.

It may be an unconventional media plan, Mark Daprato, VP marketing, Swiss Chalet, says, but the idea was simply too good not to pursue.

‘We know it’s a little wacky,’ he admits, explaining that Swiss Chalet test-drove the idea on its Facebook page before committing to it. ‘When we realized that we could have a TV commercial that talked about making a Rotisserie Channel, and that the Rotisserie Channel could actually exist and we could align it with Facebook…it all came together. We think this is a really exciting, new and innovative idea.’