Shoney’s gives you gas

Some marketing campaigns just don’t think things through.

Shoney’s has a new campaign for their “2 can dine” dinners. The spot is OK. It features a Confederate and Union soldier sitting down to eat…and obviously they don’t get along. The spot is interesting and funny if you pay attention, but you really have to pay attention to it (and repeat after me…consumers don’t pay attention). I saw it 3 or 4 times before I fully understood it. And I’m in the small minority of people who actually TRY to pay attention to advertising.

What kept me from biting on the spot was what seemed to be an afterthought in the spot. The viewers’ attention is fragmented by a “weather crawl” across the top of the frame that tells you to go to a website for a chance to win free gas for a year.

Free Gas…and the Civil War. They go together like peas and carrots. Grant went through Shiloh in a SUV.

I’m seeing alot of “free gas” promotions lately. These were cooked up in marketing meetings a few months ago in the post-Katrina/Rita days. However, here in late 2005, gas is relatively “cheap” compared to the summer…down almost a dollar. These gas promotions that were dreamed up a few months ago now don’t have the power they should. Never base promotions on what the current hot thing is…unless you have the speed to implement it quickly.

And here’s another marketing rule. Shoney’s, are you listening? Repeat after me…

Restaurants should NEVER give away gas.

Insert your own gastrointestinal joke here.

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