heinz

Sometimes you look around and ask yourself, “what the hell were people thinking?”

We at the Juice Bar came across two marketing campaigns that got us “scratching our heads”.  I use the term “scratching our heads” advisedly because, after taking a look at these advertisements, one may think that the brand is wanting us to scratch somewhere else.

Warning.  The following content may contain material unsuitable for anyone with a sense of decorum or taste.

The first campaign was brought to our attention by our friend Greg.  It is a campaign recently launched for the restaurant chain Ruby Tuesday’s.  Have you been to one?  They are a “family” style restaurant indistinguishable from TGIFriday’s and a host of other restaurants.  The ad features the picture of a burger with the center, or meat part, pixilated just as one might see a television channel do when they are showing a video of someone with their private parts exposed.

Their tagline (and I am not making this up!) …

“Fun between the buns!”

That’s right.  www.funbetweenthebuns.com  Clearly this was meant to be “viral”.  Click on the Twitter button and here’s what they want you to post on your Twitter feed:

I just saw some #FunBetweentheBuns and got $3 off. C’mon, Everyone’s doing it! http://www.funbetweenthebuns.com

Yes you read the above correctly.

Fun between the buns? … C’mon, everyone’s doing it?

Now perhaps we at the Juice Bar have our minds in the gutter (or, toilet).  But I can’t imagine that someone, somewhere, at Ruby Tuesday’s didn’t have the temerity to say to someone, “Do we really want to be known for this?”  ”Do we want our brand to be all about ‘fun between buns’?”  ”Any chance that some mom or dad might think the ‘bun’ reference is to – well – what they use to sit on when they go to the bathroom?”

This is wrong on so many levels it is hard to know where to begin.  So I won’t.  As one of my colleagues wrote, “makes you want to be a vegetarian!”

The second campaign was forwarded to us by a colleague and also has an anatomical twist.

Quick!

What are things that are tall and rectangular and sit upright?

Did you say ketchup bottles?  You’re right!!!

Did you say port-o-johns?  You’re right too!!!

So some creative team at Heinz ketchup got the same inspiration and must have said (we hope jokingly) … “let’s do the whole Reese’s Cup thing and do a ketchup bottle port-o-john mash up!”

But it apparently wasn’t a joke.  Alas, the iconic Heinz ketchup bottle became the place that was your best friend after too many beers at the county fair.

Again, I can’t imagine that someone at Heinz somewhere might have asked the question:  ”Do we really want our iconic bottle and brand to be remembered as a smelly urinal?”  ”Do we want someone to look at a ketchup bottle on a table and say, ‘Hey, I remember relieving myself in something that looked just like that a couple of weeks ago!  Yum!  I’m gonna put some of that on my french fries!’”

Gives a new twist to the line about ”anticipation”.

I spoke to my brother who was a former creative director at Saatchi and at Grey.  His interpretation:  desperation.  Sales and the stock price are in the toilet (pun intended).  You’re under the gun.  The CMO is about to get the boot.  The account is about to be put up for review.  These are situations where taste, decorum, and thoughtful advertising are set aside.

Throw deep.