Wednesday, November 10

Tweaking "Mr. Wendy"

Being a spokesman can be daunting enough, but just imagine being a spokesman forced to fire your "unofficial spokesman."

Face it -- the "Mr. Wendy" ad campaign was awful. But cheesy rebound lines like this one only tend to make reporters laugh (and damage your credibility.): “While decisions are still being made about new creative, food has always been the hero at Wendy’s, and we’re going to make sure that comes through loud and clear,” Wendy’s marketing executive Don Calhoon said.

Give me a break. I can swallow a triple with cheese easier than I can that statement. It needs to be more conversational. Yeah, you can make the case that the "bite" made it into print... but I can also make the case that today's politically-savvy reader/investor will recognize it as spin, and reject the cheese.

"Food has always been the hero at Wendy's". I thought you had to go to Subway or Quiznos to get a hero.

Folks -- it is possible to craft a statement that is too cute to be effective. Don't outcute yourself.

Late in the piece, the CEO gets it right.

Asked during a recent conference call by one analyst whether the company was rethinking its advertising in light of sales slippage, chief executive Jack Schuessler replied, “Any campaign you tend to tweak it from time to time ... and I suspect we’ll tweak Mr. Wendy.”

He ought to tweak Calhoon while he's at it.