Wednesday, September 7, 2011

More Advertising Suckage


As many of you who know me in the real world can attest, and as many of you in the digital world are discovering, it doesn't take much to trigger an angry advertising anecdote. Perhaps because in the 20+ years in the business there have been so many of them. Probably no more or no less than the next fellow, but I'm like an elephant and never forget.

And I never let a good grudge go to waste.

Last week I was trolling cnn.com and came across the story of the New Mexico cop caught having sex on the hood of his patrol car.



At the end of the story reporter Jeane Moos makes light of the fact that the officer and his 'friend' were being watched by a chihuahua. And every red-blooded American knows chihuahuas equal Taco Bell.

Except that famous advertising campaign died 10 years ago.
Perhaps 2001's second greatest tragedy.

I have an intimate knowledge of the Taco Bell dog's (her name was Ginger) death because I sat, helplessly, in meetings with the men in logo-pocketed polo shirts and crisp khaki pants who did the deed. Why, you may ask, did they pull the plug on a campaign that gave us dozens of funny catchphrases, spawned millions of dollars worth of merchandising and attained instant pop culture status?

Good question.

I know my buddies Chuck and Clay, the guys responsible for creating the campaign and delivering the south-of-the-border hilarity, were asking the same thing. I'm sure the myopic marketing pro's with their Yankelovich and ASI and Millward Brown qualitative TPS reports could explain. They'd tell you it was all the little dog's fault. It couldn't possibly have anything to do with the dirty stores, the half-hearted service or the crappy food.

But riddle me this Khaki Pants MBA.
What has Taco Bell done marketing-wise since 2001?
Is there anything even remotely memorable? Or cool? A single witticism that some stoner kid would want to put on a T-shirt?
I'm thinking outside the bun, I'm thinking you guys screwed the pooch.
Literally.

The last time I even heard the brand's name was on a Friday night at the Santa Monica Promenade, when my daughter stopped me before stepping in some vomit on the sidewalk.

"Ewww", she said, "It looks like some half-eaten Taco Bell Chalupa."

Actually, it looked better.

3 comments:

Anonymous said...

Rich, her name was Gidgett

glasgowdick said...

That was a test to see if anybody was actually reading this crap.

Congratulations, Anon, you are a winner.

If I had any real balls I print the names of the numbskulls who deep sized the campaign.

Anonymous said...

It was that English asshole, Peter something at TB....what a tool....