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Fast Food Ad Campaigns That Blew Up in Their Faces

Fast Food Ad Campaigns That Blew Up in Their Faces


While there certainly have been some mega-successful
restaurant marketing campaigns throughout the history of fast food, there are still
many that belong firmly in the list of absolute marketing fails. Let’s review the questionable highlights of
some of the biggest restaurant marketing fails of all time. Carl’s Jr.’s “burgers” A parade of scantily clad women started devouring
massive burgers in Carl’s Jr.’s commercials in the mid-2000s, and before long, bare flesh
became more synonymous with the brand than their burgers. These controversial ads have since been affectionately
referred to as the “burger” campaign. The ads became the fast food chain’s trademark
for a while, until the public decided they were just over them. A 2015 poll by Ameritest found that 51 percent
of respondents found them to be “irritating and annoying.” Carl’s Jr. disagreed, citing higher sales
numbers than usual… but those were probably due to a coupon released at the same time
as the Super Bowl. Fast forward to 2017, when Carl’s Jr. made
a swift break from the saucy campaign, releasing a tongue-in-cheek ad featuring Carl Sr. booting
frat-boy Carl Jr. out of the head office. “Take that down, put that up!” “That, was supposed to be fresh ingredient,
and then that lady got in there and her clothes flew off it was windy” The move coincided with a new CEO, and the
company’s desire to appeal to more than just the 18-34 year old demographic. Burger King’s “Whopper Virgins” When considering how the one-time King of
Burgers dropped to number three in the fast-food rankings, it’s difficult to zero in on any
one marketing snafu. “I don’t know why you would say that.” Was it the use of the polarizing King mascot? Perhaps. But it might just have been the ad campaign
that offended folks of practically every race, culture, and creed that really dethroned the
one-time King. In 2008, the Whopper Virgins campaign saw
Burger King traveling to remote areas of the globe to find people unfamiliar with American
fast food to taste-test Whoppers and Big Macs. “They’ve never seen such a foreign piece of
food before and they didn’t even quite know how to pick it up.” Critics pointed out that many of these areas
suffered from poverty, with AdWeek commenting that the campaign was emblematic of American
ignorance. Not a good look. Starbucks’ “Race Together” In 2015, Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz decided
to tackle social issues in the U.S. by launching a rather unusual marketing campaign. In a video message, he urged Starbucks employees
to include the handwritten phrase “Race Together” on customers’ cups. The company’s intention was to “facilitate
a conversation” with your barista about racial tension while you enjoyed your daily latte. Perhaps unsurprisingly, the general public
didn’t respond warmly to a white billionaire preaching to them about race relations. “Not sure what Starbucks was thinking, I don’t
have time to explain 400 years of oppression to you and still make my train.” The campaign quickly became fodder for magazine
editorials and late-night talk shows. “Nice try, Starbucks, I guess now at least
you can go back to doing what you do best, burning coffee and glaring at us for using
your bathrooms without buying anything.” Schultz eventually admitted the missteps the
company may have made with the campaign, though he didn’t back down from his overall intent
to foster positive social impact. Quizno’s “spongmonkeys” Once upon a time, a British animator created
bizarre rodent-like creatures that had bad teeth and wore curious hats. “Any coupon works! Beware of paper cuts!” They sang warbly songs extolling the virtues
of the moon, cheese, zeppelins, and furry animals. They were called spongmonkeys, and naturally
somebody at Quizno’s thought they would be the perfect mascot to sell Americans toasted
sandwiches. “They are so good we’d eat them raw but eating
raw subs is barbaric! We are not the huns!” The public had a love/hate reaction to the
ad’s “spokesthings,” as Quizno’s referred to them. The company’s main switchboard received 30,000
phone calls in the first week that the odd creatures screeched their love of “the subs”
to the American public. Nobody hated the spongmonkeys more than franchisees,
with one posting a sign on his door saying that he had nothing to do with the campaign. While the company wouldn’t disclose what the
campaign had done to sales figures, they dialed back on the crazy creatures before long. Arby’s Vegetarian Help Line It must be challenging for fast-food giants
to keep up with all of the food restrictions potential consumers abide by, but let’s face
it, vegetarianism is hardly a new fad. That’s why it was something of a head scratcher
in 2015 when Arby’s took aim at the vegetarians of the world with their downright rude 1-855-MEAT-HLP
ads. “Has Arby’s brown sugar bacon tempted you
in ways you never thought possible? You are not alone. We can help! Pick up the phone now” The help being offered? Take a deep breath and eat a salad. Probably somewhere else. While the brown sugar bacon was only available
for a limited time, Arby’s stuck the steak knife in a little further in 2016 with its
vegetarian-friendly “bread sandwich.” We’re just waiting for the gluten-free people
to start their Arby’s beef now.

100 thoughts on “Fast Food Ad Campaigns That Blew Up in Their Faces

  1. So you have a problem with a white billionaire preaching about race relations but are ok with a white millionaire preaching about sexual harassment (Jimmy Kimel)

  2. I really liked the Quiznos ads. The voices were annoying, the creatures were weird looking, they spouted nonsense. There was no other ad like it on tv at the time so they were memorable and made me smile. I don't know if being associated with strange singing rats-like creatures helps to increases sales (since there are fewer Quiznos locations, I'm guessing no) but those ads are literally the only thing I know about Quiznos.

  3. I don't go to Hardee's/ Carl Jr's because the stupid people working there kept messing up my order, or burning my burgers. There's more to sales than commercials, like customer service. And if you want me to pay 7 bucks for a burger, you better make me feel like it's worth it.

  4. So when people hate minority people get pissed off if they try to spread togetherness and positively between races then they get pissed off for god sake last i checked racism can go both ways and this makes me belive it more it doesn't matter your skin color some minorities try to use their past to make themselves seem better some white people do it too and it's ridiculous we're all just people just get over the past and don't let it happen again and send a positive message

  5. arby's vegetarian help line is epic . i had not heard of that until now. im sick of those over sensitive liberals bringing everything down.

  6. You didn't point out the obvious flaws of the starbucks thing. They are expecting their baristas to have awkward conversations about race relations with customers when they have enough shit to do. Can you imagine being in a conversation with someone that served you about a thing they barely care about? "Um like I think we should like be kind to each other you know?"

  7. Not gonna lie, after seeing a Hardee's "slutburger" commercial, eating a hamburger was the last thing on my mind. Uhh, I'll be back in 10 minutes.

  8. Nothing is wrong with half these ads
    The race one was just stupid, and considering people said "explain 400 years of oppression" (Not oppressed anymore) and also why can't a white person talk about race, that's the problem, colored people get mad at white people for being oppressive, then get mad at them again the colored side.

  9. People are are too sensitive and sometimes want to see things that aren't there. I travel in third world countries and I don't think those people would be offended to get a free Whopper. I would like one right now!

  10. Why do Starbucks workers get called "baristas"? They're minimum wage franchise employees, not artisans. It's a case of the general public swallowing a market tag.

  11. Cali is plagued by artificial high living cost/inflation to support fake refugee caravans organized by soros just like europe. both china/russia save money while dem/globalist kill usa. they help corrupt Honduras afloat by remittances. lots of aid squandered

  12. I don't get the race together thing. Sounds like some libtards got triggered because they can't forgive the white devil. Not saying this was a good idea, just a dumb thing to bitch about.

  13. The one woman who said that my race was oppressed for 400 years needs a lesson in history and the knowledge that black people have more privilage than whites

  14. You leftists at Mashed are pathetic. I mean that too. The Carl Junior's ads featuring attractive women did cause a rise in sales. Why? Because sex sells.

    I am sorry that as feminist and soy boy feminist allies you want to deny this. The reason you are, you women are jealous of those women in the commercials, and the soy boys will never get women like them and hope you might sleep with them by playing along with you.

  15. Sorry, but the only reason I ever went to Quiznos was because of that commercial. I've gone there semi-regularly ever since.

  16. I worked at Carl’s Jr. when I was 16 when the slutburgers were popular I have to say that place used to be sooooo busy and BOOMIN. But yeah all of us at least once ate a burger in the slutty way just to gross each other out lol and the guys would make them ooze while bending over 🤣🤣🤣

  17. Starbuck's CEO and founder Howard Shultz is not a white billionaire as this Mashed video says, as if being White is a bad thing they're trying to say. Rude. I guess Mashed does not like White people. Fact is Howard Shultz is a Jewish leftist Bolshevik dictator, which is pretty bad.

  18. The slut burger ads got me to try Carl Jr.'s Burger. I always thought Paris Hilton needed a big fat meaty hamburger in her pie hole.

  19. Well, I see some varied takes below but I also remember the Starbucks thing- they tried a version of it on again in June 2018 in some markets. Look- you guys are a coffee place. You aren't my mother or a moral authority and I neither want nor need any instruction from you, nor are you any kind of educator or facilitator, nor do I care what your employees or executives think about any subject other than coffee. If that, frankly.

  20. I always wondered how did those scantily clad women eat those monstrously of hamburgers without dripping sauce on themselves?

  21. From race together writing on cups 2 arresting two Blackman in a Starbucks yea let’s talk about race Starbucks the fuck!?

  22. What about the disturbing subway commercial from the mid-2000s where a guy and his wife were out watching stars and a wishing star appeared and the guy secretly wished that his wife turn into a subway sub

  23. The Starbucks one was stupid. Middle class young adults prefer to spout their ignorant opinions about social issues on the internet, not in person!

  24. Really Quiznos? Who would want to see that while looking at a food commercial? So people can lose their appetite

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