Arby’s: Get a New Marketing Team
I consider myself a reasonable person and as a big fan of stand-up comedy, also consider myself the sort that’s not easily offended. What I’m about to show you is offensive…and stupid. So, stupidly offensive. Ready? Let’s go.
This is Arby’s newest marketing campaign, “Brown Sugar Bacon,” another concontion of ignorance that’s geared toward “elite” omnivores at the expense of vegetarians – you know the type, a borderline vicious omnivore that won’t give up meat, ever, and remains as adamant about it in a manner that’s ironically similar to the stereotypical vegan’s dietary attitudes that they claim to not like thus their adamant opposition to the latter’s cause in a giant mess of dead-end logic.
Look, I’m not saying that Arby’s doesn’t taste good because I don’t know, it’s been too long since I put my body through a traumatic experience that severe, but simply can’t recall a single time I’ve ever eaten their food from childhood to my early twenties that didn’t result in feeling sick shortly after. What I am saying is that this seems to fit into what I remember being a lot of advertising via comedies throughout the years, from a bit in the film Saving Silverman to a skit in Reno 911. I’m assuming marketing strategies would be different by now, but in an attempt to stay relevant they went with this…but before you click it, I’m going to describe it here because I’d prefer that Arby’s doesn’t receive any traffic on my behalf. I’m solely putting this link here in the event that you are so taken aback by the incredulous nature of this content that you simply can’t believe a fast food company would reach this far and look this stupid, here you go, if you must.
Queue thirty-second commercial with shots of bacon everywhere. Like a pork-themed Jackson Pollock.
Big dumb red letters: ARE YOU A STRUGGLING VEGETARIAN?
Smaller dumb gray letters: It can happen to anyone. One day you’re a tofu-carrying vegetarian, and the next, Arby’s releases Brown Sugar Bacon, making you reconsider your herbivore lifestyle. Call 1-855-MEAL-HLP to help gain control of those carnivorous impulses.
We respect you. We respect your life decisions. With that in mind, we want it to be abundantly clear that this letter is not meant to sway or convert you. We’re sharing this to offer our support.
Nearly a year ago, we embarked on a journey to tell America about our meats. By now, you’ve likely heard the Arby’s tagline: We Have The Meats®. It’s tough to hear, but it is what it is. We have many meats. And we have quality meats.
It is understandable that you disapprove of our meat-bravado. Your voices have been heard. Letters, emails, voicemails, Tweets and Facebook comments – we hear you. We love our meats, but realize they’re not for everyone.
Then on Sunday, June 28, we launched a meat innovation that has likely tempted you: Brown Sugar Bacon. It’s our pepper bacon, glazed in-restaurant with brown sugar and then cooked to perfection. It may be hard to resist…even for you. Hardcore vegetarians likely won’t budge, but for those of you who are on the fringe or new to the game, avoidance can’t be easy.
We, at Arby’s, have created this temptation. So, we’d like to help.
We’re giving you a number to call:1-855-MEAT-HLP. This is a Vegetarian Support Hotline. When your nose betrays you and alerts the rest of your senses to find and devour this sweet meat, please call 1-855-MEAT-HLP. You will receive the support you need to resist this gateway meat and get tips on how to avoid temptation. Delicious. Sizzling. Temptation.
Be strong. We’re here for you.
I called the number. It’s an automated system of meta advertisement and I’m pretty sure it’s trying to be funny, but I really don’t see how it’s funny. I’m not a full-fledged vegan myself, I live with an omnivore and was raised as an omnivore with relatives that own small farms that grow fruits & vegetables and raise chicken, cattle, goats, etc…and I just don’t get it. So then what? I looked at some more of their advertising, like their thirteen hour commercial with over 75k views depicting a smokehouse brisket being smoked alongside some more tantalizing depictions of their food products that, at least according to a Google image search of “arby’s real food,” look nothing like what’s shown on the site. I can’t really fault them for that though, because that’s pretty standard for fast food, but for the sake of this post I’m going to hold it against them anyway because I, for whatever reason, felt inclined to spend time on their website and am a tad bothered by my life choices at the moment.
I’m torn on writing this post because by reading this you likely aren’t Arby’s target demographic and I doubt I’ll convince anyone to stop rewarding sophomoric marketing (bacon fetishizing) with their hard-earned money for food so bad it’s mentioned in an article on WebMD. I guess I’ll use this as an opportunity to voice my own letter to Arby’s:
I can’t continue this charade any longer, even if we haven’t really been a thing in years, though I guess we may have lost ourselves in all this. I’ve consulted with friends and family and have determined that you’re not right for me. Between slathering brown sugar on what is arguably the least healthy type of meat in the history of food that comes from an animal that may very well have been given “man’s best friend”-status under different circumstances and your continuing insistence that what you do is ethically sound, I simply can’t go on pretending. I’m leaving and won’t be back to pay your rent and what I assume must be an insane marketing bill. You’ll find someone else for a while and disappear for good in about fifteen years because by then most folks will have woken up and realized you’re just not long-term relationship material.
P.S. I faked every bite.