Wendy, Where Are You?
In an effort to recoup brand equity two years after the death of spokesman and founder, Dave Thomas, Wendy's is launching a new character, dubbed "Mr. Wendy" to be the face of the brand. Mr. Wendy is presented as an emphatic fan, who's enthusiasm for the fast-food chain's grub has lead him to embark on a self-appointed public crusade to spread the news nationwide.
For thirty years we've been hearing about Wendy, but Wendy never shows. Wendy Wendy Wendy. Who the heck is she? And if the company is so hardpressed for a new spokesperson, wouldn't she seem like the most obvious choice?
Ad Age reports that Don Calhoon, executive vice president for marketing at Wendy's, said the new brand spokesman is "a sort of new but unconventional champion" who "doesn't follow the 'rules' of a spokesperson." But, he said, "we could certainly never replace Dave or would try to. Dave was the official spokesperson and the founder of our company. He stood for all that Wendy's was about. Mr. Wendy couldn't be further from that if he tried."
One can only imagine what has become of Wendy and why, after all this time and the death of her father, she remains absent from the advertising. It can't be good.
Posted by Adrants Contributor Alison Kosakowski of Powell.
DriveCam, whose mission is to "reduce the frequency and severity of collisions" by changing driving behavior, catches a guy driving casually without his seatbelt who falls asleep and ends up in a very un-driver like position. Perhaps the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration should consider using this footage in one of its scare tactic safety commercials.
Goodlot, a gaming and charity website based in the U.K., just launched a camel racing game where visitors can place bets which are then donated to charities. The site quickly found its way onto the Lycos Viral Chart, a website ranking popular viral games, ads and websites. Goodlot site operator Andres Varela was quite pleased with the sudden popularity but also somewhat concerned that his web logs told him many people where loading the site only to listen to the camels fart for a half an hour or so before actually playing the game.
Seems farting is a very succesful marketing tactic. Everyone remembers the farting horse in the Super Bowl ad. Though, Goodlot didn't have to pay $2.3 million for its sudden fame.
Nielsen Monitor-Plus is reporting an increase in ad spending of 5.1 percent in 2003 over 2002. Local magazines saw the greatest growth at 20.5 percent with, surprise, network TV seeing the least growth at 0.2 percent.
With all the RIAA uproar over music downloads, Pepsi's 100 million download giveaway and the continued rise in downloading as the preferred method of buying music leading to the certain death of the physical CD, iTunes should should launch its own record label so it could increase its cut of the sale. Currently iTunes gets a very small portion of the 99 cent download fee. Conversely, record labels should launch their own download services. It's true they've already partnered with the likes of Apple and Dell but the pie just gets cut too slimly for either side to make enough money. True competition will occur when either the record label side or the technology side goes it alone and in doing so, perhaps drive the cost down further while making more money. I'm no economist but it sounds like a no brainer to me and perhaps it's already happening.
Image courtesy of BAGnews.