Hooters’ CMO Explains That He Sells “All-American” Sex Appeal


Mike McNeil has sold sex appeal for two decades as CMO of restaurant chain Hooters, and he isn’t the least bit shy about it.

AdAge recently got a hold of McNeil for a Q&A session, and they got some insights into what the folks at Hooters really think their brand represents.

He describes Hooters as “All-American,” and says that the company will never try to hide that “sex appeal is at the crux of [its] marketing strategy.”

McNeil went on to tell AdAge, “[W]hat makes Hooters unique is the element of sex appeal that the girls bring. With a name like Hooters you have to embrace the brand. Yes, we have acknowledged that ‘hooters’ is a folksy, slang expression for a portion of the female anatomy, but we like to think that we’ve made the name stand for a lot more than that, including food and fun. You have to embrace who you are.”

Hooters is a naturally polarising brand — it sells sex (with a little bit of food). And for the most part it looks like its marketing people know and embrace it, even though it euphemistically describes itself as a “neighbourhood restaurant.”

Read the full Q&A with Hooters CMO Mike McNeil at AdAge >