After 28 years, Rubio’s embarked on a complete brand overhaul, moving from a “fish taco joint” to a higher quality “coastal grill.”  With a revitalized menu and enhanced in-store experience, we needed to develop a platform that would elevate brand perception in the San Diego market. Rubio’s is deeply committed to the ocean, with sustainable seafood appearing across their menu and ocean restoration projects anchored in their annual calendar. We decided to highlight Rubio’s honest love for the ocean by raising a glass to the resource that sustains us every day.

The "To the Ocean" campaign improved brand perception noticeably in the San Diego market—specifically with increases in the areas of likeability (5.5%), relatability (8.2%), memorability (7.2%), and sharing common values (16.2%). Customers even found a new purpose for comment cards within the restaurant by actually thanking Rubio's for its advertising. And most importantly, the restaurant's sales and transactions are up a significant amount year-over-year.

I assisted on the initial pitch and helped develop the “To the Ocean” brand platform. When Rubio’s considered expanding to the East Coast, I led all of the strategic research to help our clients understand the Florida market and the differences between "fish restaurants" in Florida versus the West Coast. This culminated in a 135-page competitive audit that covered all of the potential fast-casual competitors and the insight that the term "sustainable", a pillar for Rubio's, would not resonate in Florida.

Creative Director + Copywriter: Pete Harvey

Art Director: Martina D'Alessandro

Executive Producer: Kacey Hart