Family owned since 1946, Noah’s Ark Ristorante has been providing the residents of the Des Moines area with a different kind of dining experience. Starting from humble beginnings, the restaurant slowly evolved into the city’s destination Italian eatery with a great atmosphere and menu featuring its legendary pizza, iconic homemade bread, and imported Italian semolina pasta.

Gannett Imaging and Ad Design worked with the restaurant to completely revamp its advertising strategy. For the past several years, Noah’s Ark had been using stale, text heavy advertisements — and not getting the desired results. The goal of the new campaign was to attract a younger crowd, simplify the brand message, and drive reservations and sales.

In researching the client, we identified three key brand values: great homemade food, a friendly, family atmosphere, and Italian authenticity (i.e. food, family, tradition). These three things are the essence of Noah’s Ark identity and pushing these values would drive the creative to new heights.  

The campaign reflected an updated look and feel that balanced modern and traditional. Historical photos emphasised the family-owned restaurant's longevity.
The campaign reflected an updated look and feel that balanced modern and traditional. Historical photos emphasised the family-owned restaurant's longevity.

We designed the creative to be simple and modern yet true to the brand and the message we wanted to convey. We used wood and brick textures to mimic the interior of this old Italian restaurant and give the viewer a sample of the atmosphere.

For the headline we chose to keep it straightforward: “Traditional Italian Cuisine” conveys exactly who they are and what they have to offer. The look of the headline is where we decided to bring in some current design trends to update the feel. It is more inviting to the younger crowd, yet still has enough of a traditional feel to stay connected with their current crowd.

We used a combination of old and new photos as a main focal point in the creative. Showing the generations of families that have been going to Noah’s speaks to its sense of tradition and long history. This message is reinforced in the subhead: “Sharing great meals with loved ones for over 70 years!” We also included appealing photos of the food, which had not been represented as beautifully as it could in past advertisements.

After first running the ads, Noah’s Ark reported a 200% increase in reservations and walk-ins. By pushing the restaurant’s true values, bringing a modern flare, and really featuring their food, we helped them connect to a younger audience. The restaurant continues to run the campaign with minimal updates and see increased traffic.