Ivar’s Brand Awareness Campaign

Seattle seafood chain partners with Mentor to create their Fall campaign

ivar's seafood logo
An Ivar's clam figure shrouded in mist and mystery

Marketing Strategy
Marketing Execution
Social Media Campaign
TV & Video Production

The Ivar’s dining experience offers 18 fast casual Seafood Bars and three full-service waterfront-view restaurants: Ivar’s Acres of Clams, Ivar’s Salmon House, and Ivar’s Mukilteo Landing. From its early beginnings in 1938 with Ivar Haglund, the original flounder, the seafood chain has been known for wacky and offbeat marketing tactics. From underwater billboards, on the bottom of Puget Sound, to dancing clams, Ivar’s has continued to surprise and delight patrons all over the Pacific Northwest.

The Challenge

Maintain the tradition of fun, humorous, zany marketing, while integrating the campaign goals for the brand. The intent of the campaign was to increase sales and drive foot traffic to the restaurant and seafood bar locations. Ivar’s had a strong desire to continue using television commercial spots as a portion of its marketing execution.

“Ahhh, the mighty forest clam. Harmless, unless you approach with garlic butter.”


The Solution

mockup of Ring doorbell camera footage showing a clam running across the front yard of a persons house

The Concept

Ivar’s approached us with an idea,  “The clam gets caught on a doorbell camera from someone’s home similar to porch pirates busted on home video.” They weren’t sure how to integrate this in a way that was positive for the brand, or into an entire campaign, so we took the idea and ran with it.

After multiple iterations, we landed on a concept where the clam gets caught on camera around town and people aren’t sure what they are seeing. A modern day Unsolved Mysteries.

behind the scenes picture of camera crew filming an actor in a clam costume
Nextdoor users were engaged in targeted areas north of Seattle near Ivars locations

Execution Strategy

To create more organic buzz around the concept we integrated Nextdoor as a tool to drive more engagement and foreshadow the upcoming television commercials.

Video posts were made that only showed bits and pieces of a “creature lurking in the shadows” and engaged the audience to help solve the riddle. This approach set things up perfectly and allowed the commercials to bring all of the clues together and reveal the famous Ivar’s Dancing Clam.

an example of the a video posted to Nextdoor. the video zooms in on a clam hiding behind a shrub in the woods
screenshots of nextdoor user comments, and post analytics showing a lot of views and comments


Our television commercials combined with The Nextdoor platform provided a great candid audience. We utilized Nextdoor members from the Ivar’s network to post clam videos in designated neighborhoods around the region to cast a wide net and ensure the audience wouldn’t catch onto the hoax too quickly.

The television commercials then ran on KIRO7, the local CBS network, at select times throughout the fall season. They aired after the Nextdoor posts had time to propagate through the community so they filled in the puzzle gaps for the viewers.

Nextdoor comments. Probably alien umbrella? A turtle on stilts? Human carrying a small inflatable boat???
CBS and Kiro7 logos

The Results

As a whole the campaign increased sales from the previous year by 3%. The campaign was a huge viral hit, the guerilla marketing tactics used for Nextdoor garnered over 75,000 video views and over 500 comments. Numerous commenters were even explaining who the Ivar’s Dancing Clam is to others, resulting in even more organic awareness for the brand.

Additionally, the television commercials were well received in the community with hundreds of regular customers saying, “they saw and enjoyed the ads.” 

75k video views. 500+ comments

“Human encroachment is forcing the elusive Acres of Clam to adapt and expand into Rainer Beer’s territory. They are nothing to worry about though. They are just so fresh and friendly!”


15 Second TV Commercial

30 Second TV Commercial