mmm, tasty!

Saturday, March 8, 2008

Whose advertising campaigns are more fascinating than the fast food industry's? A quick glance at this slogan database and you’re probably imaging a sultry chorus singing in the background while the camera zooms slowly in upon the image of cardiac-arrestially inducing deliciousness.

But we’re more interested in the wording of the slogan.

Take Subway’s: Subway. Eat fresh.

Terse, but clever—it says a lot in only three words. "Subway" tells you the name of the business; "Eat," the kind of business; and "fresh," the quality of the eats.

"Eat fresh" also implies that the eats are healthier than other fast-food chains, while "Subway" connotes—sandwiches.

The slogan has a nice, pounding meter to it, too—especially the way they say it in the advertisements. "Subway" is generally pronounced with the stress on the first syllable—subway—but the announcer(s)/chorus breaks the word up to stress each syllable—sub…way. They stress "Eat fresh" similarly—eat...fresh—so the slogan is a series of four little verbal jabs.

But while Subway maintains a fresh and clean image, other fast-food chains are more lurid. Hotdoggists WindMill boast that their wieners are "Bigger! Better!"; Jack-in-the-Box doesn't "Make It Until you Order It"; Kentucky-Fried Chicken's wings, thighs, and breasts are, of course, "Finger-Lickin' Good!"

Of these three, Kentucky-Fried is easily the market leader and its entendre the most blatant. Quiznos's tender "Mmm...Toasty," A&W's patriotic "All-American Food," and Hardee's nuturing "Come on Home" can't even compete. The virtuous advertisers are all second-rate—and don't think quality of food is the key ingredient; we'd rather eat at any of these three than KFC (then again, the last time we were at KFC, we ordered the gizzards; they took a half hour to prepare and were f@#!ing awful).

But none of these chains ranks with the burger joints, whose advertisements are waaayyyy more suggestive:

Burger King: "Have It Your Way"; "Your Way, Right Away"; "You're the Boss"; "The Fire's Ready"; "Best Food for Fast Times"; "Home of the Whopper."

Wendy's: "It's Better Here"; "Do What Tastes Right"; "Where's the Beef?"

McDonald's—pick one.

Add to this Whitecastle's "What You Crave," and we feel the point is obvious.

But we're curious as to why the burger joints' entendres (including Jack-in-the-Box) connote prostitution. We won't go into revenues here, but we've researched it, and trust us: Burger Joints Tower over the other fast foods, so the heaviest competition is amongst themselves, if the heaviest competition is amongst themselves, we can expect them to have the best advertisers, if they hire the best advertisers, we can expect their advertisements to appeal to the most people, if they appeal to the most people, then we can conclude that most people equate food with prostitution.