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 Best/Worst/Strangest Chain Restaurant Advertising Campaigns

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bartl

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  • Location: New Milford, NJ
Best/Worst/Strangest Chain Restaurant Advertising Campaigns Thu, 08/29/13 11:31 AM (permalink)
In another thread (it seems most of my new threads start with some variation of that), the conversation has drifted to the topic of advertising slogans for fast food/chain restaurants. So, I figured it would make a good spin-off thread to comment on some of the best, worst, and, well, strangest advertising campaigns for that category of restaurants. I'm going to start off with a few, here:
 
  • I remember the first time I became aware of the "Bona Fide Fried Chicken" slogan for Popeye's. It was on a sign outside a Popeye's, and the first thing I thought of was that there must be stories around that Popeye's was using fake chicken (I have seen Popeye's restaurants ranging from spotlessly clean to ones I'd fail for a health inspection in the first 30 seconds; I could see such rumors coming from visitors to one of the latter). It was only when I heard a commercial and the slogan said in a Bayou accent that it made sense. But I'm not sure it's going to fly.
  • It terms of great ads that didn't work, there is always the Taco Bell chihuahua. Everybody loved the ads, but, apparently, it is a rather bad idea in terms of sales to use a dog to advertise a product that bears a physical resemblance to dog food.
  • Somebody in the other thread mentioned Burger King's "Yumbo". I probably wouldn't even remember it if it hadn't been for their promotion, "Have you tried a Yumbo yet?", advertising a contest where the first prize was a vacation by "Jumbo Jet" to Jamaica. Somehow, combining a ham and cheese sandwich with Jamaica and a Swedish accent pun struck me as, well, strange enough to be memorable.
  • A very good campaign was, years ago, when McDonald's advertised that you could get a burger, soda and fries and still get change back from your dollar (which just goes to show how long ago THAT was). Kentucky Fried Chicken showed and equivalent chicken meal you could get, and pointed out that even though you wouldn't get change back from your dollar, you'd get a much better meal. So much advertising is based on trying to differentiate products that have no significant differences that advertising people often have trouble when there really is a difference; this was one of the rare exceptions.
Bart
 
#1
    TJ Jackson

    • Total Posts: 4481
    • Joined: 7/26/2003
    • Location: Cincinnati, OH
    Re:Best/Worst/Strangest Chain Restaurant Advertising Campaigns Thu, 08/29/13 12:14 PM (permalink)
    Give me back my Filet-O-Fish
    Give me that Fish
    WOOOO
     
     
    #2
      ScreamingChicken

      • Total Posts: 4710
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      • Location: Stoughton, WI
      Re:Best/Worst/Strangest Chain Restaurant Advertising Campaigns Thu, 08/29/13 12:35 PM (permalink)
      How about the Quiznos ads that featured the "spongmonkeys"?
       
      #3
        felix4067

        • Total Posts: 3289
        • Joined: 12/13/2003
        • Location: Near Grand Rapids, MI
        Re:Best/Worst/Strangest Chain Restaurant Advertising Campaigns Thu, 08/29/13 12:37 PM (permalink)
        This falls into all three categories, depending on your point of view.
         

         
        #4
          mar52

          • Total Posts: 7590
          • Joined: 4/17/2005
          • Location: Marina del Rey, CA
          Re:Best/Worst/Strangest Chain Restaurant Advertising Campaigns Thu, 08/29/13 1:33 PM (permalink)
          Felix, that one reminded me of a silly millimeter longer.
           
          I won't comment on your ad otherwise. 
           
          Wendy's Hot and Juicy
          or
          Burger King's Home of the Whopper
           
          Doral Cigarettes:
           
          Taste me, taste me.  C'mon and taste me.
           
          I know it's not chain restaurant related... but C'mon and taste me....
           
           
           
          #5
            kozel

            • Total Posts: 810
            • Joined: 7/17/2004
            • Location: Fredericksburg, VA
            Re:Best/Worst/Strangest Chain Restaurant Advertising Campaigns Thu, 08/29/13 1:50 PM (permalink)
            Anyone remember the Burger King "Where's Herb?" commercials?
             
            http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Where%27s_Herb%3F
             
            #6
              Treetop Tom

              • Total Posts: 321
              • Joined: 7/20/2005
              • Location: Baltimore, MD
              Re:Best/Worst/Strangest Chain Restaurant Advertising Campaigns Thu, 08/29/13 3:55 PM (permalink)
              Two that come to mind immediately (both from the 1990s, I believe) were the "Rapping" Chicken McNuggets ("I'm into McNuggets, Ya'll / Dip it in the bar-b-q sauce / McNuggets, McNuggets, What?) and the jive-talking, basketball-spinning, hip-swiveling animated Colonel Sanders (Go Colonel!, Go Colonel!) KFC developed.  Both were examples of pandering of the worst kind.
              <message edited by Treetop Tom on Thu, 08/29/13 4:15 PM>
               
              #7
                mar52

                • Total Posts: 7590
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                • Location: Marina del Rey, CA
                Re:Best/Worst/Strangest Chain Restaurant Advertising Campaigns Thu, 08/29/13 8:59 PM (permalink)
                "The Colonel's Got Ribs!"
                 
                Don't cook tonight...
                 
                Finger lick'n good
                 
                 
                 
                #8
                  bartl

                  • Total Posts: 1208
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                  • Location: New Milford, NJ
                  Re:Best/Worst/Strangest Chain Restaurant Advertising Campaigns Thu, 08/29/13 9:10 PM (permalink)
                  ScreamingChicken
                  How about the Quiznos ads that featured the "spongmonkeys"?

                  Yes. I can picture the advertising conference, "Let's use disgusting imagery to get people to a restaurant. It will keep people away, but we'll REALLY be hip!"
                   
                  Bart
                   
                  #9
                    mar52

                    • Total Posts: 7590
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                    • Location: Marina del Rey, CA
                    Re:Best/Worst/Strangest Chain Restaurant Advertising Campaigns Fri, 08/30/13 12:10 AM (permalink)
                    What about that creepy king in the Burger King commercials.  Very Creepy!
                     
                    #10
                      ScreamingChicken

                      • Total Posts: 4710
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                      • Location: Stoughton, WI
                      Re:Best/Worst/Strangest Chain Restaurant Advertising Campaigns Fri, 08/30/13 9:06 AM (permalink)
                      mar52


                      What about that creepy king in the Burger King commercials.  Very Creepy!
                      I'd like to get ahold of one and rig it so that it lights up and the eyes glow red whenever someone drives past my house at night.
                       
                      #11
                        MetroplexJim

                        • Total Posts: 3704
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                        • Location: McKinney, TX
                        Re:Best/Worst/Strangest Chain Restaurant Advertising Campaigns Fri, 08/30/13 10:58 AM (permalink)
                        The BEST: Five Guys! 
                         
                        They do not advertise and rely instead on reviews and word-of-mouth.
                         
                        4.1+ million views of this and it didn't cost them a penny:
                         

                         
                        #12
                          MetroplexJim

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                          Re:Best/Worst/Strangest Chain Restaurant Advertising Campaigns Fri, 08/30/13 11:00 AM (permalink)
                          mar52


                          What about that creepy king in the Burger King commercials.  Very Creepy!


                          I always thought a "mole" from McDonald's Corporation had infiltrated BK and created that campaign!
                           
                          #13
                            MetroplexJim

                            • Total Posts: 3704
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                            Re:Best/Worst/Strangest Chain Restaurant Advertising Campaigns Fri, 08/30/13 11:13 AM (permalink)
                            And this "remix" is even better than the original.  It has 1.7 MM hits so far, all "free" to the Guys:
                             

                             
                            #14
                              CCinNJ

                              • Total Posts: 7740
                              • Joined: 7/24/2008
                              • Location: Bayonne, NJ
                              Re:Best/Worst/Strangest Chain Restaurant Advertising Campaigns Fri, 08/30/13 11:18 AM (permalink)
                              There's no Sleep Number for this...



                              <<<Shudder>>>
                               
                              #15
                                Ketteract

                                • Total Posts: 104
                                • Joined: 10/9/2011
                                • Location: Middletown, CT
                                Re:Best/Worst/Strangest Chain Restaurant Advertising Campaigns Fri, 08/30/13 11:46 AM (permalink)
                                Arch Deluxe has to be at, or at least very near, the top of ill-advised ad campaigns.  I mean, god, just look at this:
                                 

                                 
                                I get what they're trying to say (which is itself pretty lame, really), but, seriously, it boggles my mind how the visual there made it all the way through the ad agency and McD's executives. 
                                 
                                #16
                                  Sundancer7

                                  Re:Best/Worst/Strangest Chain Restaurant Advertising Campaigns Fri, 08/30/13 6:45 PM (permalink)
                                  MetroplexJim


                                  And this "remix" is even better than the original.  It has 1.7 MM hits so far, all "free" to the Guys:



                                   
                                  DAY-UM:  Outstanding Metroplex Jim.  Ghetto grocery bag??????????
                                   
                                  Paul E. Smith
                                  Knoxville, TN

                                   
                                  #17
                                    cathyftr

                                    • Total Posts: 87
                                    • Joined: 10/29/2006
                                    • Location: Winchester, VA
                                    Re:Best/Worst/Strangest Chain Restaurant Advertising Campaigns Sat, 08/31/13 12:47 AM (permalink)
                                    Terrible campaigns..
                                    *Arby's "Good Mood Food"
                                    *Domino's Pizza and their Noid ads ( gawd has it really been 25 years ??? )
                                    and..
                                    The Wendy's ad for the Berry Almond Chicken Salad, terrible because the ad was filmed in Berryville, Virginia. A town that is VERY VERY VERY anti-chain. Ask CVS Pharmacy, Hampton Inn Hotels, McDonald's and Sheetz when they tried to to open up there. DENIED !!  I am sure Wendys would had faced the exact same thing if they had wanted to open up there as well.
                                     
                                    Good campaigns...
                                    Even though I am hardly in their demographic Taco Bell and Hardees-Carl Jrs their ads do seem to work in getting their target demos...young guys.
                                     
                                    Most of the restaurant ads from the 70's were quite good as I can remember. Burger Chef's "Burger Chef & Jeff",  TV's Wonderama host the late Bob McAllister for Howard Johnsons, Burger King's "Have it your way" all of which were very well done.
                                     
                                    Controversial at the time but no biggie now..
                                    *Emmanuel Lewis ( TV's Webster ) slamming McDonald's Big Mac in ads for Burger King. Even though the practice of naming your competition in ads was popular at the time ( and still is ) I can recall that  many felt having a kid going after McDonalds was a bit much.
                                     
                                    *KFC using Foghorn Leghorn from those old Warner Brothers cartoons in their ads for Chicken Littles back in the mid 80's. Many parents at the time felt that by using a cartoon character in advertising was just plain wrong never mind the fact that the Warner Brothers characters for years used to advertise Six Flags theme parks..and of course Burger Chef's "Burger Chef & Jeff" ads from the 70's, guess those folks had overlooked those.
                                     
                                    #18
                                      45013

                                      • Total Posts: 335
                                      • Joined: 6/30/2003
                                      • Location: Dayton, OH
                                      Re:Best/Worst/Strangest Chain Restaurant Advertising Campaigns Sat, 08/31/13 1:52 AM (permalink)
                                      Worst ... I'll say those Hardee's/Carl's Jr. ads featuring sexual imagery (including Paris Hilton) that have been panned by the Parents Television Council!
                                       
                                      #19
                                        MetroplexJim

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                                        • Location: McKinney, TX
                                        Re:Best/Worst/Strangest Chain Restaurant Advertising Campaigns Sat, 08/31/13 9:57 AM (permalink)
                                        In the 1980's Roy Rogers Roast Beef ran a hilarious radio ad mocking Arby's "fake roast beef": beef pieces held together by "binders".
                                         
                                        It was read by a George C. Scott sound-alike riffing on the opening speech from Patton.  In it, the 'enemy' was producing fake roast beef with binders.  Instead of the "shoveling sh*t in Lousiana" line, 'Patton' said "at least you won't be in Lousiana picking binders out of your teeth".
                                         
                                        Anyone with higher internet search skills than mine would serve us all by finding it.  It was/is truly hilarious! 
                                         
                                        (And TRUE about Arby's)! 

                                         
                                        #20
                                          MetroplexJim

                                          • Total Posts: 3704
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                                          • Location: McKinney, TX
                                          Re:Best/Worst/Strangest Chain Restaurant Advertising Campaigns Sat, 08/31/13 10:15 AM (permalink)

                                          This:

                                           

                                          +

                                          This:

                                           

                                           

                                          =

                                          "Wrong" on a "Miley Cyrus" scale!

                                           
                                          #21
                                            Tdybr27

                                            • Total Posts: 92
                                            • Joined: 2/5/2006
                                            • Location: Independence, MO
                                            Re:Best/Worst/Strangest Chain Restaurant Advertising Campaigns Sat, 08/31/13 1:57 PM (permalink)
                                            The two guys in the Sonic commercials..... sometimes funny sometimes stupid but effective none the less.
                                             
                                            #22
                                              cavandre

                                              • Total Posts: 1597
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                                              • Location: Melbourne, FL
                                              Re:Best/Worst/Strangest Chain Restaurant Advertising Campaigns Sun, 09/1/13 8:05 AM (permalink)
                                              Tdybr27


                                              The two guys in the Sonic commercials..... sometimes funny sometimes stupid but effective none the less.

                                              Nothing gets me reaching for the remote faster than these two morons. The side effect is that it makes me want to avoid eating at a Sonic.

                                               
                                              #23
                                                CCinNJ

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                                                • Location: Bayonne, NJ
                                                Re:Best/Worst/Strangest Chain Restaurant Advertising Campaigns Sun, 09/1/13 12:09 PM (permalink)
                                                The wonderful Clara Peller (God rest her soul)...

                                                 
                                                #24
                                                  GB944

                                                  • Total Posts: 191
                                                  • Joined: 6/8/2002
                                                  • Location: Kingston, NY
                                                  Re:Best/Worst/Strangest Chain Restaurant Advertising Campaigns Sun, 09/1/13 12:33 PM (permalink)
                                                  Taco Bell's "Run for the Border" campaign...
                                                   
                                                  Made me think "Run for the Bathroom".
                                                   
                                                  #25
                                                    ScreamingChicken

                                                    • Total Posts: 4710
                                                    • Joined: 11/5/2004
                                                    • Location: Stoughton, WI
                                                    Re:Best/Worst/Strangest Chain Restaurant Advertising Campaigns Sun, 09/1/13 7:47 PM (permalink)
                                                    And hoping you made it before you "dropped the chalupa".
                                                     
                                                    #26
                                                      bartl

                                                      • Total Posts: 1208
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                                                      • Location: New Milford, NJ
                                                      Re:Best/Worst/Strangest Chain Restaurant Advertising Campaigns Mon, 09/2/13 10:31 AM (permalink)
                                                      Marketing people have to be right every now and then. Around 1970, sales at McDonald's had flattened. Note that "fast food" was still a relatively new phenomenon in much of the nation. Studies showed that burger places had a reputation of being dirty and unsanitary (the two are not necessarily mutually inclusive). So, although McDonald's was popular with teenagers, it still wasn't attracting the family market it was trying to break. Ray Kroc then instigated the creation of the "McDonald's is Clean" ad, which did it's job, and helped move fast food into the mainstream:
                                                      http://youtu.be/z8lh0ffnsRA
                                                       
                                                      Bart
                                                       
                                                      #27
                                                        MetroplexJim

                                                        • Total Posts: 3704
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                                                        • Location: McKinney, TX
                                                        Re:Best/Worst/Strangest Chain Restaurant Advertising Campaigns Mon, 09/2/13 10:56 AM (permalink)
                                                        Bartl hit it on the head. 
                                                         
                                                        Prior to their having in-store seating areas, Mickie D's was primarily a "teen thing".  Their sales soared as the "Baby Boomers" became mobile teens - and, why not:  I used to get two burgers, fries, and a "shake" for 61 cents!
                                                         
                                                        By the time the Boomers got around to breeding (in my and Mrs. Metro I's case 1968 and 1970) they came up with various 'family-orinted' strategies:  in-store seating and kiddie commercials featuring Ronald McDonald that ran endlessly on kid-oriented TV.  As a result, when my kids reached 5 and 3, there was literally HELL TO PAY if we wanted to stop at any other fast food!
                                                         
                                                        As a result, when Mrs. Metro IV and I are on the road we use McDonald's only for their dependably clean restrooms! 
                                                        <message edited by MetroplexJim on Mon, 09/2/13 11:00 AM>
                                                         
                                                        #28
                                                          Heartbreaksoup

                                                          • Total Posts: 407
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                                                          • Location: Atlanta, GA
                                                          Re:Best/Worst/Strangest Chain Restaurant Advertising Campaigns Tue, 09/3/13 3:18 AM (permalink)

                                                           
                                                          #29
                                                            cathyftr

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                                                            • Location: Winchester, VA
                                                            Re:Best/Worst/Strangest Chain Restaurant Advertising Campaigns Tue, 09/3/13 7:19 AM (permalink)
                                                            bartl


                                                            Marketing people have to be right every now and then. Around 1970, sales at McDonald's had flattened. Note that "fast food" was still a relatively new phenomenon in much of the nation. Studies showed that burger places had a reputation of being dirty and unsanitary (the two are not necessarily mutually inclusive). So, although McDonald's was popular with teenagers, it still wasn't attracting the family market it was trying to break. Ray Kroc then instigated the creation of the "McDonald's is Clean" ad, which did it's job, and helped move fast food into the mainstream:
                                                            http://youtu.be/z8lh0ffnsRA

                                                            Bart

                                                             
                                                            I wonder if Burger Chef had the same thing in mind as in trying to make the chain a family restaurant when they used the characters from Bil Keane's popular comic strip The Family Circus in their television ads back in the day ??  I think the ads came around in the late 1960s. As recently as six months ago the Family Circus/Burger Chef ads were on You Tube. I guess they have since been taken down since I can no longer find them there.
                                                             
                                                            #30
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