All of us are caught up in the discussion about how bad the current economy is and how we will survive this tough time. Recently, I experienced a practice by two brands who are doing things a “tad” differently to beat these tough times.

First, Chili’s.
Chili’s has a new promotion for two in which you get an appetizer, two entrees, and one dessert for $20. Of course it is a very strong offering, but like all brands, Chili’s also must be facing a reduced media budget. So what does Chili’s do? As I was driving by the Arapahoe and Parker Road intersection (in a Denver Colorado suburb), I saw a man passionately shaking a banner promoting Chili’s new deal. Wow. A brand like Chili’s, who always relied on TV promotions, is now taking their battles to the street corners and trying to drag customers into the parking lot, one car at a time. Simply an amazing adaptation to survive the modern times.

Next, TGIFriday’s.
No one will be surprised to see this offer from TGIF. But when I was recently in a Best Buy store, I saw a promotion to buy select in-store movie titles and included was a buy one entree, get one free coupon valid at TGIF. The titles listed in the promotion include Wanted, The Incredible Hulk, and other family movies. They’re on sale for $12.99 each.

So what are TGIF and Best Buy selling together? A great evening experience for the whole family: eat, have fun, and save a lot. That is bound to make a customer feel good about the brands making life easier for them.

Hence, the challenge is not the lack of resources, but how can we still make customers enjoy a fun moment with limited budget. If you think of similar deals, please let me know as my daughter and I would love to plan a fun father daughter evening with it.