One is Angry Birds avenging an innocent Chinese McDonald’s customer who has his burger stolen by those damn pigs. It’s a totally natural situation in a restaurant that made the Hamburglar and Grimace famous. And O-golden-M-G, I absolutely adore using the arches to slingshot the birds from. I wonder which idea came first. Or, wait, I think we can all guess that this whole promo started with somebody thinking That Famous Logo would be perfect to fire pissed-off orbish birds from.
Second is this: um, Denny’s?
Is Denny’s the chain that bourgeois Middle Earth franchisees wish they could introduce into the shire? Not sure about this match-up.
On the other hand, I guess Hobbits do like to eat just, like, a ton of food all the time—two breakfasts and five other meals a day or whatever. I suppose that might fit Denny’s brand promise chart. Check out the campaign here and try not to wince at the old “Gramma ya just don’t get it” humor or the weirdly overly lit set that makes Denny’s look like it was shooting an 80s-era sitcom. For all the trouble Peter Jackson is going to, I’m sure, to give Middle Earth the exact right mood using the latest lighting software and elaborate in-camera rigs, I feel like he’s gotta be dying when he sees at this flat-lit pun-based bit of commercial necessity. Oh well. Butts in seats, that’s what matters in the restaurant and the cineplex both, I suppose.
Besides. Weird promotion-and-restaurant combos are nothing new.