Brian McKnight plays a singing waiter in the new commercial promoting Chili’s Grill & Bar’s “3 for Me” value offering.
The spot shows the R&B singer waiting on a table at a Chili’s. His customers appear to recognize him, only for him to deny it. When the diners are unfamiliar with the 3 for Me value offering, McKnight suddenly pulls up a microphone stand, the restaurant is dimmed in blue light, and McKnight breaks into a remix version of his 1999 hit “Back at One,” explaining the three steps to ordering a drink, an appetizer and a main course for $10.99.
“I was thrilled to be able to collaborate with such an iconic brand like Chili’s on this remake of one of my favorite hits – it truly felt like such a natural fit and a no-brainer,” McKnight said in a press statement. “The song is all about steps, much like Chili’s 3 for Me menu. As a foodie with a long-standing love for Chili’s, I was even more excited to dedicate this ‘Back at One’ remix to food.”
“We wanted to go beyond a straight parody song,” Ross Fletcher, group creative director, Mischief @ No Fixed Address said in emailed comments during an AdAge interview. “The idea of Brian working at a Chili’s and denying he’s in fact R&B superstar Brian McKnight let us bring the remix to life in a fun and entertaining way. After all, food should be fun. It was a great opportunity to put Chili’s, and 90’s R&B, back in the limelight.”
The “Back at One” remix, created in partnership with Coca-Cola, is on Chili’s YouTube channel; 30-second versions will appear on Instagram, Facebook, and TikTok. Watch the ad above.