Okay, I’ve been excited ever since they announced that Arby’s had hired the CMO who’d had the guts a few years ago to hire ad agency CP+B and allow them to influence pop culture with the Burger King campaign for several years. Same guy hired same agency for Arby’s.
One of CP+B’s strengths is to come up with an idea that’s absolutely un-ignorable, and still strategic.
One of their weaknesses is to focus on a funny idea and never really figure out an overall brand conceit.
I fear that what we have here is a somewhat ignorable idea that isn’t really changing my idea of Arby’s or giving me something to get excited about.
Take this screen grab, for example:
I called that phone number. Some announcer said he was Harold Blumfelder, and then just reiterated the idea of the spot—that he was the scapegoat for blah blah I don’t know. He said some fairly dull facts about food and then hung up after saying he’d see me at Arby’s. It’s all self-reverential and self-referential and assumes way too much interest in Arby’s supposed inner workings.
I think Jack-in-the-Box’s faux-corporate setting works great, because it’s a parody of business. This…well, I guess it’s just silly. Without being infectious, or pushing any boundaries.
This from the advertising agency/CMO combo that brought us memorable, surprising work like Subservient Chicken, Whopper Freakout, and that thing where you had to stare at a revolving Whopper to get a coupon code.
I haven’t gotten a reply to my email (I also emailed the address on that screen grab to see what would happen) to the Scape Goat Guy, but if it’s like the phone call it’ll be a letdown. The whole thing feels rushed together, and aimed at keeping franchisees happy since it celebrates the food so gratuitously.
It feels like an imitation of a viral idea that CP+B might come up.
I will keep my mind open, and assume this is interim work before they really re-brand Arby’s memorably…