Wendy's May Dump Saatchi

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Wendy's, apparently not pleased with its red wig campaign, may be leaving Saatchi & Saatchi, AdScam's George Parker reports. A Saatchi source tells Parker production has ceased on all work. George didn't like the red wig campaign citing its lack of relevance to the brand and its lack of message content.

We're not sure we agree. Following the death of iconic Dave Thomas, Wendy's work hit a low point. We think the red wig campaign succeeded in eliciting a "whoa, that's pretty good in a weird sort of whacked way" reaction. Whether it sold any hamburgers we know not.

With the increasing amount of agency layoffs across the industry and heightened account shifts, we're not sure the ad industry is going to have such a great time this year. Hopefully, that's not true but if recent stock market activity is any indications, it's likely belt tightening will continue.

by Steve Hall    Jan-10-08   Click to Comment   
Topic: Agencies, Brands, Campaigns   

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Comments



Comments

I heard it was successful, as in sales went up. I also heard that Dave Thomas's family was screaming holy heck that it was "not in keeping with what Wendy's stands for."

You could not drag me into Wendy's with a team of wild horses (got VERY sick after eating there once) so i'm not a good judge of the campaign.

Posted by: Schrodinger's Copywriter on January 10, 2008 11:08 AM

The campaign is absolute rubbish. It makes that idiotic Arby's campaign look like high art.

The sooner they're rid of it, the better.

Posted by: El Tostito on January 10, 2008 11:43 AM

Wendy's is a perpetually difficult client to work with. No surprise they're considering jumping ship on Saatchi.

Posted by: Anonymous on January 10, 2008 12:10 PM

I was just curious why you and a couple others have quotes from George Parker so often. What makes this crotchety old guy with a lame portfolio the end all be all. Who gives a crap what George Parker says. "Advertising consultant" also no as unemployed. He's just a bitter old man being passed by.

Posted by: Jeff on January 10, 2008 12:55 PM

The answer to your question, Jeff, is an easy one. Yes, George is old but with age comes a vast swath of wisdom and industry connections built since the early sixties. In a nutshell, he knows a lot of people in the industry and they confide in him.

Secondly, regarding the tips he reports from his sources, the information he reports is almost always 100 percent correct.

When you are something like 72, Jeff, and have amassed the knowledge and insight George has over a long career in advertising, you will then earn the right to trash people who possess the stature George does. Until then, you will have to be content being seen as some kind of know-it-all youngster with nothing to do but make ageist commentary such as you have done here.

Do you really think we'd all be quoting George if he truly was a crotchety old guy who's bitter being passed by? No. We who write about the ad industry take the time to learn which sources we can and can't trust. Yes, even ad blogs do that, Jeff. Time after time, George has proved to be a worthy source of information. And time after time, he has reported his learnings days in advance of those same findings appearing in Advertising Age.

Jeff, read George a bit longer before you decide to trash him. You might not agree with everything he says but he deserves your respect. That "respect your elders" thing should still mean something, even in today's "youth trumps all" culture.

Posted by: Steve Hall on January 10, 2008 1:26 PM

I used to call myself unemployed. Now I just call myself early retired and serving the people*. I think I should have read a godin book to get rich quicker, but i didn't. can't afford the many reincarnations in this one life.

Note: earned assets were improperly vested, pension plan stinks.

But more than half of life is good.

As for George, or is it Robert Troll?, he just needs a spoon to his wicked fork and knife to paraphrase Mr Rogers.

*donations to the blogs I read regularly complete. I may now get on with my "you haven't got a life, nancy" life.

Posted by: Nancy on January 10, 2008 1:33 PM

That's a shame. In the sense that it sucks to see good, creative work pulled for no good reason. Not the biggest fan of what they were advertising, but I did like those spots.

Posted by: Jack on January 10, 2008 2:04 PM

This does present an interesting new opportunity for Nielsen, though: tracking burger sales. :^)

Cheers! -- Roger D.

Posted by: Roger D. on January 10, 2008 2:06 PM

Wow... Steve, I am flattered. The check is in the mail. Also the hooker with the gigantic breasts will be there at 11 PM. As for Jeff, you sir are an absolute wanker who has no fucking idea what this business is about. I don't consider myself as being passed by, as at the moment I am in the middle of a three week gig at $2,000 a day. If you can get even close to that, I'll kiss your arse... But I am sure there's no danger of that. Finally Steve... I am not 72 yet!!! But you still get the hooker.
Cheers/George

Posted by: george parker on January 10, 2008 4:37 PM

I always associate ad success with Halloween costumes. And I saw several guys wearing those red wigs. Not saying that they should drag it out, but it *appeared* to be succesful.

Posted by: Mo_P on January 10, 2008 5:02 PM

I assume the comments by George are not actually THE George Paker. But by the off chance that it is, if I had any respect for you sir, I no longer do. Can you say "no class". A classy response would be no response. I don't want to hear about hookers, your colorful volcabulary or how much you may be making.

Posted by: R on January 10, 2008 5:19 PM

Dunno Jeff. Seems like GP got a lot of the awards for that 'lame portfolio' that most creatives would kill for. Wish I had a Clio, let alone 11 of them.

Isn't that enough to think maybe he does know what he's talking about?

Posted by: bg on January 10, 2008 5:23 PM

Hey "R"
You sound like a real pain in the ass. Bet you're the kind of guy everyone wants to have a beer with, then after ten minutes, punch you on the nose. Oh, and fuck off!
Cheers/George

Posted by: george parker on January 10, 2008 5:32 PM

Fabulous. Always nice to see George over here. Funny thing is, he's (almost) always right.

Posted by: The Cartoonist on January 10, 2008 5:50 PM

R,

George's last comment proves without a doubt, you are hearing from the real George Parker:-)

Posted by: Steve Hall on January 10, 2008 9:27 PM

George rules. That's all you arsewipes need to hear. Now shut up and find something else to bitch about - I bet it won't be hard.

Posted by: mizj on January 10, 2008 10:31 PM

THIS is why SCAM ADS are bad for everyone in our industry. The team who headed up Wendy's was the same team that won all of Saatchi's awards for fake ads. Yet, on this REAL client, their worked plainly sucked. It's real world advertising, not a 'proactive brief.'

Meanwhile, they all jump ship and are on to better paid gigs while the rest of the agency and hardworking people on the account try to save the business. I hope Wendy's at least gives the new team a chance.

Posted by: Doug on January 11, 2008 10:18 AM

Well, the campaign sucks. It's as unappetizing as Dr. Pepper's latest efforts, and something slightly reminiscent of the burger "king" campaign, but less creepy.

Posted by: Anon on January 11, 2008 11:10 AM

A) "R" George has earned his cranky epaulets a thousand times over. He has made many of my days brighter by exposing the buffoons that are ruining our "industry". I live to see them embarrassed.

B) Asinine commercials like the Wendy's red wig actually make me avoid the product (Unless I need some free straws).

Posted by: Studio Maven on January 11, 2008 1:00 PM

George has an awesome wit.

Posted by: shorty on January 14, 2008 2:25 PM

Ever since Dave Thomas died, Wendy's has lost their way. Mr. Wendy, It's Better Here in Dublin, Ohio, Do What Tastes Right and now this clown with the wig.

Wendy's got taken to lunch by agency hucksters who were clueless.

The flat sales roll over an earlier 18 months of massive declines that ended maybe a year ago. So the company is hurting.

They have been trying to put good spin on bad results for the longest time and they have run out of wiggle room. In their most recent sales release earlier this month, they completely omitted anything about the fact they quietly YANKED their heavily advertised Frescata sandwiches in December. Very misleading shareholders!

Just as Frescatas flopped, their Breakfast offering will get creamed by the McMuffin machine. McDonald's = Breakfast. In fact, Wendy's breakfast is now only in a handful of markets, where it once was supposed to be much more widely distributed.

Meanwhile, they are now forcing their franchisees to sell double cheeseburgers for 99 cents. Yes, people will come into the stores to buy the food and the corporation will get its royalties on the sales. But the franchisees will get squeezed in the profits department. Yes profits. Remember those?

The geniuses in marketing do not know how to interpret sales numbers and as a result they place way too much emphasis on youth, who btw are the premier consumers of 99 cent low profit items. They buy the wrong media and they run the wrong creative in this mad pursuit of youth. Boomers still buy a ton of fast food but they also watch things like cable news where you will never see a Wendy's spot because they throw all their money at youth. The idiotic pursuit of youth is also what yields downright stupid campaigns like the red wigged jerk.

Wendy's is OLD FASHIONED HAMBURGERS and that's what Dave Thomas was all about and they were never cutting edge. Dve was so square he was hip. Hip but trustworthy. Like your dad, or granfather he could be trusted. So when you try to be someone you're not, you get in trouble.

That red wigged guy is not someone I'd trust. He's the sort of punk that would spit in your food while prepping your order.

The CEO has a real estate background and at best should be a store manager.

They blindly throw their ad dollars at Internet stuff when anyone with a brain knows that this is no place for fast food. They put incredible dollars and even more incredible staff time on Internet projects and then someone like Ian Rowden goes on a 10 city tour spinning how great the 50,000 hits they got are. Well, the problem is the whole marketing department is math challenged and 50,000 hits = TOTAL INVISIBILITY. But that doesn't stop them from spinning or the moron ad trade press from publishing the spin.

There is no accountability. There is nobody steering.

They need a new CEO, a new marketing director and new agencies. And they need it fast or the house that Dave Thomas built will collapse.

Posted by: shorty on January 14, 2008 2:27 PM

Ever since Dave Thomas died, Wendy's has lost their way. Mr. Wendy, It's Better Here in Dublin, Ohio, Do What Tastes Right and now this clown with the wig.

Wendy's got taken to lunch by agency hucksters who were clueless.

The flat sales roll over an earlier 18 months of massive declines that ended maybe a year ago. So the company is hurting.

They have been trying to put good spin on bad results for the longest time and they have run out of wiggle room. In their most recent sales release earlier this month, they completely omitted anything about the fact they quietly YANKED their heavily advertised Frescata sandwiches in December. Very misleading shareholders!

Just as Frescatas flopped, their Breakfast offering will get creamed by the McMuffin machine. McDonald's = Breakfast. In fact, Wendy's breakfast is now only in a handful of markets, where it once was supposed to be much more widely distributed.

Meanwhile, they are now forcing their franchisees to sell double cheeseburgers for 99 cents. Yes, people will come into the stores to buy the food and the corporation will get its royalties on the sales. But the franchisees will get squeezed in the profits department. Yes profits. Remember those?

The geniuses in marketing do not know how to interpret sales numbers and as a result they place way too much emphasis on youth, who btw are the premier consumers of 99 cent low profit items. They buy the wrong media and they run the wrong creative in this mad pursuit of youth. Boomers still buy a ton of fast food but they also watch things like cable news where you will never see a Wendy's spot because they throw all their money at youth. The idiotic pursuit of youth is also what yields downright stupid campaigns like the red wigged jerk.

Wendy's is OLD FASHIONED HAMBURGERS and that's what Dave Thomas was all about and they were never cutting edge. Dve was so square he was hip. Hip but trustworthy. Like your dad, or granfather he could be trusted. So when you try to be someone you're not, you get in trouble.

That red wigged guy is not someone I'd trust. He's the sort of punk that would spit in your food while prepping your order.

The CEO has a real estate background and at best should be a store manager.

They blindly throw their ad dollars at Internet stuff when anyone with a brain knows that this is no place for fast food. They put incredible dollars and even more incredible staff time on Internet projects and then someone like Ian Rowden goes on a 10 city tour spinning how great the 50,000 hits they got are. Well, the problem is the whole marketing department is math challenged and 50,000 hits = TOTAL INVISIBILITY. But that doesn't stop them from spinning or the moron ad trade press from publishing the spin.

There is no accountability. There is nobody steering.

They need a new CEO, a new marketing director and new agencies. And they need it fast or the house that Dave Thomas built will collapse.

Posted by: shorty on January 14, 2008 2:27 PM







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