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Krystal, the Atlanta-based fast-food restaurant chain known for its small, square burgers, engaged us as its new AOR in the late spring of 2020, on the heels of new ownership for the 300-unit fast-food chain in May of that year. We were tapped to steer Krystal toward a modern media mentality, generate disruptive ways to bring the storied brand back to the fore, and lead Krystal’s creative efforts in modernizing the brand voice and messaging to grow brand equity in a way that honors Krystal’s iconic heritage and unique appeal.

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The first campaign born out of the new partnership, titled “Big Country,” promoted a limited-time-offer run of the Country Fried Steak Krystal meal deal. The Big Country campaign celebrated its southeastern audience and peach state roots with celebrity rapper and ATLien Fabo, who recently topped the hit music charts as the featured artist on Drake’s “Toosie Slide” remix. Krystal is the OG quick-serve restaurant of the south. From big southeastern cities to small towns throughout the countryside, Krystal has occupied its own unique space in southern food culture for decades – so what better way to roll out the Country Fried Steak Krystal meal deal than with Fabo, one of the most unique and authentic OGs of southern hip-hop.



Big Country

The first commercial spot, titled “UFO” (filmed and produced entirely in Dagger’s in-house, state-of-the-art studio), shows supernatural Fabo flying over farmland, and an animated herd of Country Fried Steak Krystals, in a UFO. He enthusiastically proclaims the return of Krystal’s beloved Country Fried Steak meal deal before beaming up a Krystal of his own and flying off into the astral realm. The creative treatment is a nod to Fabo’s hit single “Spaceships on Bankhead,” and a not-so-subtle Easter egg for Fabo’s fans. 

The second commercial spot titled “Inside Fabo’s Head” – an inherently meta construct in which Fabo sounds off about the Country Fried Steak meal deal from within the caverns of his own mouth; the mouth itself ready to savor two Country Fried Steak Krystals with a small-sized side of tater tots. The Big Country campaign was augmented by off-air touchpoints including social media and radio. 

Fabo’s presence and tie to the brand were so successful that we brought him back for bespoke, brand-building commercial spots – a departure from Krystal’s historical catalog of offer-based advertising. Featuring an improvised lyrical hook and Fabo’s signature dance moves, we launched “Steamy, Steamy” on TV in mid-February, along with radio and social assets.

Krystal came to Dagger looking to find its place in culture, to get people talking, and rekindle the passion south-easterners have for the brand through a modern lens. One year into the relationship and the brand has taken on all new relevance, with surging street-level credibility that’s quickly becoming the envy of the quick-serve restaurant space.