June 24, 2009

Someone Please Explain

I rarely criticize other agency's work. It's too easy to be a creative genius/cheap shot artist when you don't have to deal with the problems or the clients.

But I have to say, Wendy's recent campaign has me completely baffled.
"It's waaaay better than fast food.(R) It's Wendy's."
Here's why I'm confused:
  • Everyone in the world, except apparently Wendy's, knows that it is fast food.
  • The 30% of the population who eat almost all the fast food, really like it.
So the question is:
  • Why would you say it's not fast food when everyone knows it is?
  • And why would you insult your customer base by denigrating something they like?
They can't possibly believe they can build their business by targeting non-fast food users, can they? No one's that crazy. So what's going on?

It seems to me there's only one explanation for a strategy this cockeyed. It has the smell of the tortured logic of account planning all over it.

I can just hear the presentation.
"We spent 3 months living with consumers, bathing with them, and helping them spank their children. Our unique insight is that even though they visit fast food restaurants twelve times a day, their body language tells us they have tremendous feelings of guilt and self-hatred...they want the reality of fast food, but not the idea of fast food...we can differentiate the Wendy's brand by disassociating Wendy's from fast food..."
Of course, I'm just making this baloney up. But I wonder how far off it is?

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