Cracker Barrel ushers in Dolly Parton’s ‘Rockstar’ era to promote rewards

Cracker Barrel ushers in Dolly Parton’s ‘Rockstar’ era to promote rewards

Dive Brief:

  • Cracker Barrel Old Country Store is hoping to gin up interest in its new rewards program with help from brand ambassador Dolly Parton, according to a news release.
  • The partnership, which aligns with the release of the country artist’s latest album, “Rockstar,” will give members of the rewards program the chance to win one of 667 rocking chairs that were designed with help from Parton through Dec. 4.
  • The Dolly-themed decor will also be available to purchase through Cracker Barrel’s online shop, as will other merchandise, including copies of “Rockstar.” Parton additionally appears in a new spot touting the rewards program and teasing a track off of “Rockstar,” which hits shelves Nov. 17.

Dive Insight:

Cracker Barrel is enlisting the help of country music royalty to attract more members to a Cracker Barrel Rewards program that launched in September. The loyalty platform, available via the chain’s mobile app and online, operates on a Pegs point system inspired by the peg game found at its restaurants, which double as old-fashioned gift shops. The offering also recognizes special occasions like birthdays and provides customers access to digital experiences and other opportunities, such as Dolly-themed goods.

The “Rewards that Rock” campaign seeks to capitalize on interest in Parton’s first rock album, out next month. The “Jolene” singer last year caused a stir by declining a nomination for the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, claiming she didn’t feel she had “earned” the right, having never released a proper rock record. Not long after, Parton reversed course, deciding to accept the honor and later performing at the induction ceremony. “Rockstar” builds on that recognition and could give Cracker Barrel a boost as Dolly fans anticipate another milestone in the singer’s decades-long career.

In new ads, Parton appears in glam black-and-gold attire fitting the rock star theme. Driving up to a Cracker Barrel store on a motorcycle, she orders food and uses the mobile app version of the marketer’s rewards program as a voiceover explains some of its perks, all soundtracked by an exclusive cut from “Rockstar.”

Cracker Barrel and Parton have previously collaborated, including for a performance around the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade in 2020. Parton has frequently landed in the broader cultural spotlight in recent years. The musician played a role in funding and promoting Moderna’s COVID-19 vaccine during the pandemic and rewrote her classic song, “9 to 5,” for a Super Bowl ad for the website-builder platform Squarespace in 2021.

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