New York Fries Celebrates 25 Years of Freshness

zig Taps Actor Gary Coleman for Anniversary Marketing Campaign


TORONTO (July 27, 2009) New York Fries, the popular French fry chain specializing in premium quality, fresh-cut fries, is celebrating its 25th anniversary this month with the help of actor Gary Coleman, best-known for his role as Arnold Jackson on the popular television show Diff’rent Strokes. A marketing campaign featuring Coleman was created by zig, a communications company and member of the MDC Partners network, and includes an augmented reality Facebook application in which Coleman predicts users’ future freshness.


New York Fries is proud to celebrate 25 years of providing Canadians with real, fresh fries,” said Jay Gould, president, New York Fries. “We wanted to do something special in recognition of this landmark accomplishment, and Gary Coleman is a fun, iconic image, reminiscent of the era in which we were founded.  The campaign brings us back to our beginnings in 1984 in a way that we can celebrate with both customers and partners who have been part of our growth for the past 25 years.”


In celebration of the anniversary, the augmented reality Facebook application encourages users to ask Coleman how fresh they and their friends will be 25 years from now. After installing the application, the user receives a coupon for a cup of New York Fries at the original 1984 price of $1.25. The coupon is printed out and held in front of a webcam, causing a 3-D image of Coleman to appear on the computer screen. The application then prompts the user to shake the coupon until Coleman spills his cup of fries. Their future, and the future of 24 of their Facebook friends, will be determined by how the fries fall.

“The Real Fries in a Fake World branding campaign we first introduced in 2008 has been quite well-received, and we wanted to find a way to evolve it in the irreverent, quirky way that is typical of New York Fries,” said Martin Beauvais, executive creative director, zig. “At the same time, we wanted to leverage Gary Coleman’s image in a way that would provide value for New York Fries’ customers, which led us to incorporate the coupon with the progressive technology of the Facebook application.”


In addition, a print and out of home execution featuring Coleman as an extension of the New York Fries brand campaign will be appearing in malls throughout Canada, in-store at New York Fries locations, and in magazines including Chatelaine, Hello, People, Today’s Parent and Famous.  The media buy runs through October and was handled by Media Experts.