August 17, 2006

Advertising Notes

DAMN YOU, Wendy’s International Inc.! Damn you for approving a radio advertising campaign so downright clever I nearly pulled into one of your restaurants for a burger the other day, even though I had just eaten a healthy lunch not 90 minutes before.

I refer, of course, to the radio commercial discussing the new “Wendy’s Melt” sandwich. Recently, I listened to this commercial whilst in my car, and I was greatly alarmed when I responded to the ad with good cheer and a desire for the new “Wendy’s Melt” sandwich. It’s not fair when advertisers tap into people’s sense of alienation like that. Nor is it fair when they callously tug at their instinctive reactions to things.

The ad, for those of you who cleverly avoid terrestrial radio, involves an announcer warning against the perils of eating the same burgers over and over again. For burger-vores, this apparently leads to a dulling of the instincts. That, the man warned, would lead to burger-vores developing an interest in celebrity couples. And what clothes they were wearing. And when they were having babies. “Don’t,” the announcer warned, “let this happen to you.”

Well, I consider myself warned. Thus, I thank Wendy’s for their clever and pleasant advertising campaign, even though they’re reportedly testing out an Ohio State University-themed sandwich at certain Wendy’s restaurants in Ohio. One would hope a certain school up North is soon given the same respect.*

ON A RELATED NOTE, I must condemn Taco Bell parent company Yum! Brands Inc. for allowing Taco Bell to run its annoying “Fourthmeal” campaign.

Oh, I’m sure it’s effective and all with Taco Bell’s core audience – namely, college students who have the munchies for one of a hundred reasons. That goes double if it’s 2 a.m., triple if it’s on the weekend, and quadruple near Ann Arbor in spring. That’s not really my complaint. My complaint is just that it’s stupid.

Not the “Fourthmeal” idea itself – that’s quite clever – but the descriptives used to describe “Fourthmeal.” Actual Taco Bell press releases refer to, and I quote, “crunchy, spicy, melty, and grilled taste experiences.”

What the hell does that mean? I mean, I’m sorry, but how does something taste crunchy? There’s no taste buds for crunchy! Also, if someone can provide proof of an actual fire-breathing grill anywhere in a Taco Bell, I’ll eat a Grilled Stuft Burrito. It might take me down with it, but not without a fight, I can assure you.

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* Not that we need it, because … ah, crap! Now I want a Blimpy burger. Mmmm. Blimpy. Fried mushrooms**, quad, onion roll, blue cheese, fried onions. Yeah.

** BECAUSE YOU ORDER FROM THE FRYER FIRST.***

*** Jesus God – half the time any more, I can’t even remember what day it is, yet I remember the sequence of how to order at Blimpy’s. Help me! Somebody, help me!

Posted by Benjamin Kepple at August 17, 2006 10:17 PM | TrackBack
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