Is catchy good?

One of the eternal issues that people responsible for advertising messages have wrestled with is: which is more important—taste or tacky, artless effectiveness?

Clearly, if you can display taste and get “results,” you’re doing well and you can sleep very easily.

If you answer either choice with utter conviction, though, you probably have misgivings. On the one hand, the aesthete risks irrelevance and extinction; on the other, the purely pragmatic shill risks a reputation for sacrificing quality to expediency that probably, or possibly, can be construed to apply to the things he makes.

Why is it okay in this day and age for a car dealer to debase himself nightly on TV? Because he doesn’t make the car. He can look like a fool because he’s just selling them.

But if you’re making something, you should look like you recognize quality. Or, if you’re serving as an advisor or an agent, you should seem like you’re not just trying to make a buck.

I say all this because one night last summer in a campground, a group of kids were playing tag with a modified “Marco Polo” approach to the game: it was dark, and the person who was ‘it’ would yell “Red Robin!” Then the other kids would all yell “Yum!”

My God, Red Robin: you have risen to the level of cultural institution to the point that random children in Southern Indiana are using your tag.

But is it good? It might be. I’m just asking.