How influencers helped SONIC reach over 2 billion impression

SONIC Drive-In: Celebrity Drink Partnership

How food in motion turned into 2 billion impressions.

Four celebrities, four personalized drinks and billions of online impressions. Signal Theory helped create a social campaign that pushed SONIC Drive-In’s drink customization into the spotlight during the summer 2023 season.



For most of its long and storied history, SONIC has been known as the QSR destination for custom sodas, teas and slushes. But over time, more and more competitors have emerged, aggressively attracting prime consumers during key parts of the day. So SONIC was ready to launch a campaign that would reignite the fanbase’s love for the drive-in’s drink personalization options.


We knew the selected campaign celebrities – Kelsea Ballerini, Metro Boomin, Lainey Wilson and JP Saxe – would catch the eye of Gen Z, but we wanted to take that attention and turn it into action. As we began creating photo and video content for social media and additional placements, we honed in on one particular approach. In a recent study, it was found that food in motion directly correlates with a person’s purchasing intent.

Video of various drink flavors – strawberry, coconut, Nerds, etc – splashing together with sodas and slushes.


Tossed, poured, thrown, mixed, stirred and sprinkled – products and ingredients were in motion in almost every campaign visual. It was an engaging and dynamic way to showcase just how many ways people (celebrities included) can customize SONIC drinks.

Graphic treatments of the names of Kelsea Ballerini, Lainey Wilson, JP Saxe and Metro Boomin – alongside examples of some of the printed promotional materials.
Examples of the web and mobile visual promotions for the celebrity drink campaign


The resulting creative was not only captivating, but crave-worthy. The campaign thrived on social, picked up a ton of press coverage and most importantly, got people excited for their next trip to the drive-in.






2 Billion

4 different personalized celebrity drinks with their names and photo emblazoned across each one – Kelsea Ballerini, Metro Boomin, JP Saxe and Lainey Wilson.

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