It’s been a good summer for Applebee’s and the popular American restaurant chain ended the season on a high note, literally. 

Applebee’s and several other brands such as Natural Light Beer, Oreo, Wendy’s and Maybelline shared a moment of cultural zeigeist after Walker Haye’s country song “Fancy Like”– which mentioned the brands by name – went viral on TikTok recently.

According to YouGov BrandIndex, which tracks perceptions toward brands on a daily basis, Applebee’s Ad Awareness score jumped by nearly ten percentage points from 26% of Americans in late August to 35% by the end of September.

Covid-19 had a severe negative impact on the brand’s Ad Awareness but Applebee’s began its rebound in the early months of 2021. Its marketing efforts and success were especially notable at the beginning of summer and it was YouGov’s Advertiser of the Month in June. The popular restaurant chain built on this momentum and by the end of September, its Ad Awareness has returned to what it was before the pandemic.

Data from YouGov Profiles, an advanced audience intelligence tool, also reveals that Americans who would consider ordering from Applebee’s belong to social media platforms such as Facebook (82%), Instagram (40%) and Pinterest (33%).

Just one in ten say they use TikTok (10%), though this is not surprising given that those who would consider eating at Applebee’s tend to skew older. This makes the cultural crossover between “Fancy Like” and brands such as Applebee’s all the more powerful. It shows that Applebee’s does have the potential to reach younger audiences – which has been a struggle in the past – where they are.

Marketing moments like this one also have the power to influence a brand’s actions and Applebee’s didn’t miss a beat in bringing back the Oreo Shake – a cult favorite featured again and again in the chorus of Haye’s new country hit.