I usually assume that most marketing people are just throwing random buzzwords together to try and entice people to buy. But it’s not generally quite so obvious as in the TV commercial I just watched. It was for a national fast food chain — the one that likes to feature two dysfunctional weirdos talking in a car, if you know the ads — and one of the products they chose to feature was this:
The ‘Junior Fritos Chili Cheese Wrap‘
Clearly, this is a product where the marketing team went just a tad into overdrive. It probably started out innocently enough. Maybe the joint wanted to sell chili dogs or chili nachos or something. Nothing wrong there. That’s just honest, low-carb, zero-calorie heart-healthy bar-style food there.
“Keep an eye out for the ‘Bacon ‘n’ Beer Nuts Microgreen Side Salad’ or ‘Beer-Battered Organic Tofu Funyun Fries’, coming soon to a fast food joint near you.”
Okay, fine. So one plate’ll take six months off your life. It’s still tasty. So I approve.
That’s where the marketing weenies probably stepped in. ‘Yeeeeah,’ they groaned. ‘Greasy food is so last millennium. These days, it’s all out food that sounds healthier, even though it probably isn’t, really.‘
And so, the ‘Chili Cheese Wrap’ was born. And probably prepared, and served to the ad weasels for approval.
‘Not bad, not bad — the wrap alone takes a hundred perceived calories off the dish. There’s just one thing. Where’s the crunch?‘
‘Oh, yeah. Crunch is hot. Crunch is now. Crunch is happening. So make it happen.‘
‘How the hell should I know? Popcorn kernels? M & Ms? Corn chips? Broken glass? I’m a marketer, bub. I don’t actually know how to do things. That’s your job.‘
Well, that’s about the dumbest damned thing I’ve ever… wait. Did you say ‘corn chips’?
And thus, the ‘Fritos Chili Cheese Wrap’ came to be. And was prepared, and served for final approval to the advertising jackholes.
‘Well, it’s got crunch, sure. But all those Fritos are going to turn the rabbit food people off again. Did you try the broken glass idea?‘
Um… yeah. We considered it. No go.
‘Because glass is low-calorie. I’m pretty sure of that.‘
Sorry. The guys in the legal department won’t have it.
‘Oh, those idiots. Those guys couldn’t sell a cheeseburger to a starving Texan. Well, we have to do something to make this thing seem healthier.‘
We could take out the stupid Fritos.
‘I’ll pretend I didn’t hear that.‘
We could cut down on the chili or the cheese.
‘Now you’re just talking crazy. Hey, I know — slap a “junior” on the front of that thing. People will just assume there’s a bigger, fatter, greasier version, and go for this one.‘
But there isn’t a bigger version. Actually, legal says the FDA wouldn’t allow that.
‘No matter. Make this one seem like a ‘healthy option’, and they’ll eat it up like… like…‘
Like a ‘Junior Fritos Chili Cheese Wrap’, apparently.
I don’t know how the things sell. I do know it’s a Frankensteinian food nightmare, attempting to be three things it isn’t, and trying desperately not to be the one mouth-watering, artery-cramming, fat-dripping thing that it is. Doesn’t seem right, somehow.
The worst part is, if the scheme works, we’ll no doubt be subjected to more of these cockamamie chimeric concoctions in future. Keep an eye out for the ‘Bacon ‘n’ Beer Nuts Microgreen Side Salad’ or ‘Beer-Battered Organic Tofu Funyun Fries’, coming soon to a fast food joint near you. If the marketing muckups get their wish, anyway.
Can’t we all just eat hamburgers and get along?Permalink | 3 Comments