Deep in the Heart
of Tex-Mex

The Challenge

The holidays are one of the few times of year where digital sales take a marketing precedence over restaurant traffic. With holiday gift giving in mind, Chuy’s offers both physical and digital gift card options online, as well as several of the quirky, pop-culture t-shirts they are known for. The challenge was to tie social efforts directly to sales across digital shopping carts, each with different tracking capabilities, and show a measurable impact from the previous holiday season.

The Game Plan

Branding  | Social  | Strategy

Our ultimate goal was to drive customers to purchase Chuy’s gift cards and t-shirts as holiday gifts for friends and family. With ROI at the heart of the campaign, we wanted to make sure that the content and story we were telling was not only designed to promote sales, but also to create memorable holiday moments for the community.


Character Development

Our campaign featured Elfvis, the holiday mascot based on longtime Chuy’s icon, Elvis. A “bedazzled” Elf on the Shelf was created to bring Elfvis to life and we encouraged all Chuy’s restaurants and their staff to create an Elfvis for their own location. We made Elfvis the face of Chuy’s holiday in efforts to start a tradition celebrated year after year.


Insights from previous campaigns helped showcase the impact of engagement components layered on top of sales driven initiatives. Social Distillery developed an integrated campaign with a shareable character like Elfvis at its core. The campaign featured a countdown to holiday, t-shirt & gift card promos, Elfvis daily story, motion graphics and Instagram story flash sales. We also featured an in-store element where the customer would mention to a waiter what Elfvis was up to that day on social media in exchange for free queso. We maintained consistent and positive audience comments regarding Elfvis, and considerable local social champion participation in content creation. Elfvis has fans!


Sales & ROI

In total, our campaign maintained 2 times the ROI from 2016. while impressions and community growth were down from last year, the ad strategy was validated by the increase in sales. Tracking gift card and t-shirt sales from digital shopping carts, we learned that social media contributed 37% of total online retail transactions, a 104% growth in sales contributions from the previous year. Our cost per engagement was $0.06, with total engagement up an astronomical 728% from the previous year.



growth in sales from 2016


growth in total engagement from 2016


growth in revenue from 2016


Cost Per Engagement

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