Archive for March, 2014|Monthly archive page

Stop the awful radio spot, Wendy’s. You “gotta!”

In Ad Creative on March 24, 2014 at 11:37 pm

Okay, sorry in advance for being crabby in this post.  But if I don’t vent soon, my steering wheel will be pencil-thin at the  10 and 2 o’clock positions from excessive squeezing.  My current job finds me driving a LOT. And listening to sports talk radio a LOT. And therefore, hearing the most obnoxious radio commercial in recent memory a LOT.

True confession, I already strongly disliked the redhead character who acts as Wendy’s shill in most of their recent broadcast ads. I find her unlikable and grating. I am also not a fan of Wendy’s laughable  “now that’s better” tag line- which she smugly utters at the end of every spot as if it meant something.

But back to the offending radio spot. Wendy’s is apparently offering one of their sandwiches on “ciabatta” bread.  So some copywriter – obviously one who can entertain himself for hours with a card that says “PLEASE SEE OTHER SIDE” on both sides – decided that such a peculiar word was perfect fodder for an oh-so-witty radio spot.

Image courtesy of Apolonia /

Image courtesy of Apolonia /

The spot – in case you’ve been fortunate enough not to hear it – features a dialogue between our heroine redhead and a friend named – of course – “Renatta.” They exchange insipid lines like  ”  It’s a ciabatta, Renatta.” and “He got a ciabatta, she got a ciabatta, everybody got a ciabatta.” Then,  “red” comes back with possibly the worst-written line in radio history, saying “All except Greg – now he’s persona non grata.”

Hey, I GET it!  It RHYMES with that FUNNY WORD. Hysterical! Cue the Beavis and Butthead snickers.

So many other ways to go. So many ways to make ciabatta sound like something you’d actually enjoy tasting. So many ways to, say, really communicate something.

Yeah, somebody be sure to come back with “well, you remembered the spot!”  Yes, yes I did and I do. And won’t be spending a penny at Wendy’s as long as that spot is on.  Not a penny, Jenny! Not any penny.

Oops, I  think I just split a gut.



“Jake….from State Farm.”

In Ad Creative, Memorable Marketing on March 5, 2014 at 1:37 pm

Chances are, there’s already a smile on your face from the headline to this post.   I just decided I could no longer resist writing about a commercial I have enjoyed for years. (And how often can you say that about a spot?!!) Just seeing the “wife” in a banner ad, I laughed. Image

I won’t describe it – you already know it well, and can watch here if you’d like to enjoy it again.

But this commercial represents the wonderful confluence of three major things essential to a great spot (or campaign, for that matter). The marketing objective is clear – let people know you can deal with State Farm 24/7 by phone, and presumably other ways. The copywriting is tight and ultra-believable; no wasted words, and extremely true-to-life dialogue that comes from the real world, not adland. And finally, great acting performances.

I can envision a comedy routine interrupted by the actor who plays the agent in the spot simply taking the stage, walking up to the microphone, and saying “….uh…khakis.”  It would bring down the house.

This commercial is rapidly achieving status I have previously reserved for the all-time-great film  “Planes, Trains, and Automobiles”  – where pieces of dialogue from the film are apt to enter any conversation at any time. Yes, officer, yes they are.

So congrats to everyone involved in writing and producing this spot.  Somewhere, there may be a person who doesn’t look forward to seeing it. But who cares?  She sounds hideous.