Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Where's the non-crap?

The fact that this commercial is a minute long offends my sensibilities.

I assume that most iterations of this ad airing on TV are only 30 seconds, but even so. This is a full minute that no one is getting back. Let's break it down:

0:00 - 0:08: Tree kicking

No wonder this isn't a 30-second ad; it would already be more than a quarter over and all we've seen so far is... well, whatever this is supposed to be. Certainly the tree-kicking is supposed to be a metaphor for "routine" or something like that, but... tree-kicking? Really? We couldn't think of anything even slightly less inane to fill this time?

Guy with Wendy's Hair: "Wait a minute... this feels all wrong."

Okay, this guy has Wendy's hair. The accidental implication here is that Wendy's used to use frozen beef and now doesn't, even though that's not the case. But if the guy represents someone who is "thinking Wendy's," to co-opt a competitor's slogan, why is he kicking trees in the first place? Even aside from the "fresh, never frozen" deal, I think Wendy's already has a pretty good claim to being the fast food chain with the best overall quality. Given the ubiquity of McDonald's, of course, they're going to want to talk up their differences. But I have to think there was a better way to do it than what follows.

[fully fifteen fucking seconds of voice-over that add about three seconds of information to the ad]

That's how you pad a commercial out, kids. Learn from the best. The only salient point in there: "Why eat a hamburger made from frozen beef? It'll be all dry." Everything else in that bit is either said or shown elsewhere in the ad.

Guy: "I deserve a hot juicy burger! That's right, you heard me!"

I don't know, dude. I don't think we heard you. Could you say it, like, a hundred more times?

Guy: "I deserve a hot juicy burger!"

There's one.

Guy: "And not because I can tear a phone book with my bare hands, no!"

Yeah, uh, what? Did that have anything to do with anything, or was it just two more seconds you had to fill? Jesus, why is this ad a minute long???

Guy: "I deserve a hot juicy burger..."


Guy: "...because I have a mouth. And it wants one."

Well, I guess you can't attack the message any more simply than that. Wendy's: Cram one in your face!

Guy: "And so do you. And so do you!"

Is there anything this guy won't repeat?

Guy: "Hot juicy burger! Hot juicy burger! Hot juicy burger!" et fucking cetera

Well, maybe it wasn't a hundred. But it might as well have been. Have we really been reduced to this point as a culture, where the most effective method of advertising is just to scream some buzzwords over and over again?

Guy: "That's right!"

And here we are, dumbing it down even more. The previous Wendy's slogan, you may recall, was "Do what tastes right." This is like that slogan for three-year-olds. It's not quite "Yay!", but it's right up there. Wendy's apparently went to the new slogan because recent ad campaigns failed to connect: everyone hated Mr. Wendy (try and guess why) and "Do what tastes right" was not "emotional" enough. So is that why this guy practically chokes up while stating how badly he wants a hamburger? If this is the direction things are going, allow me to suggest the next Wendy's ad campaign:

[Quick fade up on the dining room of a Wendy's restaurant. A man is sitting at a table, holding a Wendy's hamburger. He takes a bite, chews, swallows, and begins to cry.]

Man: [sobbing]

[Other people in the restaurant begin to look at him. He takes another bite and sobs even harder.]

Man: [continued sobbing]

[The above two paragraphs repeat approximately nineteen times. Finally, a Wendy's employee approaches.]

Employee: Is everything okay, sir?
Man [through tears, of course]: This burger... [sniffles] ...was it made with fresh, not frozen, beef?
Employee: Of course, sir. That's how we do it at Wendy's.
Man [starts to cry even harder, but chokes out the following]: So great.

[Wendy's logo slaps on the screen, followed by the slogan as it is spoken.]

Commanding Male Voice-over: Wendy's! So great!

Ah, feel the emotion. That one's for free, Wendy's.


Quivering P. Landmass said...

Tearing apart a phone book with your bare hands? Does Wendy's serve the Sobe energy drink from Dunkin Donuts, too?

Windier E. Megatons said...

I saw a 30-second version of this on TV last night. It cut out most of the extraneous crap, and thus was way better, although still totally stupid.

Ben said...

This is the best commercial ever. It's so epic. How dare you!