All Work

Building brand loyalty from Wisconsin with love

The Challenge

Culver’s, a $3B food franchise operation, started from humble beginnings in Sauk City, Wisconsin. A true nod to its Midwestern roots, the Welcome to Delicious brand idea has powered steady growth for Culver’s over the last decade. With a growing number of underpenetrated markets and significantly less budget than the competition, we saw an opportunity to augment the original brand idea and carve out an even more ownable niche: From Wisconsin With Love. This new twist unlocked the momentum we needed for Culver’s to reach audacious goals set for in-restaurant visits and continue growing as a force to reckon with in the QSR category.

The Possible

A genuine Wisconsin love letter to markets across 26 states

The Provable

Building on a 10-year-strong brand idea allowed Culver’s to unlock the next tier of momentum.

Brand Idea

Culver’s is a Midwest staple—and while the brand is pretty humble about most things, being from Wisconsin is not one of them. With over a decade of a brand idea that welcomed guests to the delicious flavors of the Midwest, we identified an opportunity to thank guests in a uniquely Wisconsin way—in the form of a genuine love letter signed, From Wisconsin With Love. This idea grew into a brand promise from Culver’s to their guests, both brand loyalists and new fans, to always provide a wholesome, delicious meal and a heartfelt smile.

Brand Activation

Leaning into this genuine brand promise, we shaped an opportunity to bring little bites of Wisconsin to guests across the nation. Anchored by a one-of-a-kind food truck, Culver’s delivered free samples of Wisconsin’s best – Cheese Curds and Fresh Frozen Custard – to 17 cities in markets with less brand penetration. Each stop had Wisconsin-centric activities for the whole family, like a cheese carving station, yard games and interactive displays. After more than 11,000 miles, 20,000 smiles, 14 states and 17 cities – this initiative drove more than 372 million high-quality impressions and created legions of new fans nationwide.

372 million

high quality impressions

Culver's From Wisconsin With Love food tour truck wrap, designed by Hiebing

Cause Marketing

Beyond just satisfying guests’ cravings, Culver’s determination to nourish its communities has taken shape through its Thank You Farmers® Project, a consistent way to support local agricultural communities. As a way to honor this commitment to sustainable farming, Culver’s dedicates a day once a year in May as Scoops of Thanks Day – when guests can enjoy Fresh Frozen Custard for a $1 donation to a local FFA chapter or other agricultural education programs. To date, our support of Culver’s cause marketing has impacted agricultural education with over $5 million in donations.

A fundraiser social post for Future Farmers of America, reading, "One day only! Exclusive flavor of the day, how now brown now."

PR & Influencer

When an opportunity arose to turn a prank menu item into a must-have limited-time offer known as “the CurderBurger,” we addressed the challenge head-on. Listening to guest comments (and even a few petitions) to turn this April Fools’ joke into a reality, we executed a strategic media and influencer plan to drive campaign awareness for this one-day-only menu item.  
From coordinating exclusive taste tests for key members of the media to spreading the word through influencer programs, the CurderBurger defied all expectations, earning it coverage in top publications such as Mashed, BuzzFeed and Thrillist, with online comment volume exploding from 700 average daily mentions to more than 6,000.


impressions in the first week


When better to meet hungry guests than while they’re scrolling through social media? Our ongoing social strategy was focused on welcoming guests into our “digital dining room” – an online extension of the immersive experience you get at each Culver’s. Every interaction showcases Culver’s staples like Fresh Frozen Custard, Cheese Curds or their famous ButterBurger.


Culver’s packaging is just as welcoming as the delicious food you’ll find inside. Each Culver’s ButterBurger box narrates guests’ inner monologues as they take that first bite – another fun way to enhance their experience at every touchpoint. Our most recent iterations continue to build on the brand idea and really showcase the love Culver’s puts into every meal.

The Momentum

Our From Wisconsin With Love campaign launched in March of 2022, and within the first year our same-store sales were up 6.8% and experiences were up 1.4% – eclipsing our objective of driving 1.5MM more visits by an additional million more!  Even more indicative of Culver’s continued growth and success is the market share momentum far exceeding its competitors. While everyone else saw penetration drop over the past few years, Culver’s was one of the only QSR brands to experience penetration gains. When battling deep-pocketed QSR brands, those results are a huge win.

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