01/04/2013 01:47 pm ET

Sonic Redesign: Drive-In Makes Changes In Spending, Layout

Sonic, the fast food chain known for their drive-in layout and comical commercials, is undergoing big changes in their media spending and restaurant design.

Future Sonic outposts will be built in a more inexpensive design that was used 20 years ago, with less parking spots and a greater emphasis on the drive-thru. This is a departure from the restaurant's strict emphasis on its drive-in design, in which servers bring customers their food by walking or skating to their cars.

According to, Sonic is also trying to expand its base of popularity out beyond the Sunbelt.

Due to its layout, it's understandable that the chain would be more popular in the warmer climate where it's headquartered. Sonic is based in Oklahoma City, OK, and currently spends 35 percent of their media spending on local television ads. Another 17 percent is spent on "non-TV advertising," i.e. billboards. Those numbers will be reduced to 26 percent and 7 percent, respectively. Meanwhile, Sonic will increase the percentage of its budget allocated to national cable TV ads from 26 to 35.

The ads will continue to star T.J. Jagodowski and Peter Grosz, better known as the "Two Guys." The pair are usually depicted in a car at Sonic, bantering about whatever menu items they ordered. The result is a series of ads that are cheeky, simple and self-aware, poking fun at the challenge of balancing entertainment and product placement in advertisements.



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