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 Best/Worst/Strangest Chain Restaurant Advertising Campaigns

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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.
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