Buffalo W. W. ‘That’s March Madness’ Spans In-Store Jewel Stools, TV Ads (& An Overtime Only Spot)

Buffalo Wilds Wings, the ‘official hangout for’ the NCAA hoops tournament, took a fresh approach to leveraging the 2019 competition with an inventive ‘That’s March Madness’ initiative that spans ads (one of which is only for games that go into overtime) and an in-restaurant stunt for men who have just had vasectomies.


The US based casual dining restaurant and sports bar franchise’s campaign, developed in harness with The Martin Agency, is spearheaded by a series of television commercials.


The activation is led by a central 60-second ‘That’s March Madness’ commercial that aims to convince viewers that whilst there are options to view the tournament games anywhere, people should do as their ‘fancestors’ did and head to Buffalo Wild Wings.



(plus a cut down 30-second version).



The hero ad is supported by a series of shorter spots such as ‘Birthday’.



While ‘Buffer’ mimics how annoying online buffering is when watching live sports (and it will run online on sites with a sports focus).



‘Overtime’ focuses on games going into overtime and depicts fans watching at home using the minutes before extra time dealing with everyday tasks while those in the restaurants are clearly having more fun. #


This spot will only run during the first ad break of any March Madness game that goes into overtime. (This is a new spin on overtime from B Dubs: which has joked for years that it has an ‘overtime button’ to extend games: it even offered free wings if the 2018 and 2019 Super Bowls went into overtime – they didn’t).



Each of the March Madness spots ends with a new “Buffalo Wild Wings, roar!” tagline.


The above-the-line and digital work is supported by an unusual in-restaurant stunt targeted at men who have just had vasectomies.


(Apparently, based on research showing that men schedule vasectomies for March Madness; if they’ve got to hang out and recuperate, why not have something good to watch? Some urologists even promote the specific timing of the procedure with phrases such as ‘Vas Madness’.)


‘Jewel Stools’ are being installed into two restaurants (in New York and Los Angeles) and they have ‘a cooling material in the centre of the seat so guys who are recovering from the procedure can relax’ and cupholders to keep their beer cool, plus a button that lets men order more beer without the pain of standing up.


‘You’ve been trained that you can watch sports anywhere, but true fans know that watching on a phone, in an office cubicle or relegated to the basement is not a great place to watch it,’ commented chief marketing officer Seth Freeman.


“We are having some fun with it,” says Freeman.




Buffalo Wild Wings is now in its seventh year as an NCAA partner and serves as both the official hangout for NCAA March Madness and has the title of official chicken wings of the NCAA.


The ‘Jewel Stools’ will certainly generate plenty of PR buzz – despite only being installed in two locations – but its likely that it will be the nationwide ad campaign that potentially have the key role to play in driving commercial results.


According to the brand, this is an important event for the business and it is also the first creative campaign for the chain since it switched to the Martin Agency (for creative) and Group M’s Mindshare (for media) in 2018.


Whilst media spend for the campaign hasn’t been made public, according to chief marketing officer Seth Freeman it was ‘a good investment about the same as during last year’s March Madness season.




Buffalo Wilds Wings







The Martin Agency










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