Tuesday, November 3, 2009

What were they thinking?

The Colorado Restaurant Association recently announced a promotion to encourage more people to eat out. What slogan are they using? "Fork the recession." Do you find that clever. Is that likely to make you want to run out there and spend some money at a Colorado restaurant? Do you find the slogan witty? Maybe, maybe not.

Maybe you'll be looking for a place to take the kids. How about Burger King? The hamburger also-ran is pushing a promotion featuring that lovable spineless character, Sponge Bob Squarepants. In his TV spot Sponge Bob dances while a re-mix of Sir Mixalot's "Baby's Got Back" plays. The message, of course, says that Sponge Bob has the ultimate back; I'll accept that. But, really....

Maybe you'd rather stay home and eat cereal. If so, and you're a man, you might be moved by the Post cereal Grape Nuts campaign, featuring the witless slogan, "That takes Grape Nuts." The slogan identifies arduous male tasks and implies, well, you know, something about the male anatomy. When I told my classes about this campaign, one of the young men said, "I'd rather have Big Boulders" than grape nuts.

Maybe we should contact Ralcorp, owners of Kraft Foods, and volunteer to create promotions for them. They're putting over $100 million into the campaign to try to dent the almost $9 billion cereal market, and they may not be reaching their target audience.

Doesn't it make you wonder at the power of words. Doesn't it make you wonder at the foolishness of people, ad writers, creative types and their business colleagues. Doesn't it make you wonder what they were thinking?

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