Read D.F.'s bio and previous columns
December 10, 2007
Wendy’s: Your Slogan
This past Friday
night, the Krause family decided to take in a hockey game. I don’t
really understand hockey. I’m still trying to figure out how you can
have an off-sides penalty when there’s no line of scrimmage.
T.F. Krause loves the sport for some reason, so Mrs. Krause and I took
him to see our local team play an opponent that I think was called the
Crunch, or maybe the Crush, or maybe the Smash.
At any rate, since
hockey is boring, I started looking at the ads along the boards and,
after doing a double take, confirmed that I was indeed looking at an ad
that said the following:
That’s right. That’s
what it said. “That’s right.”
Wendy’s is an
interesting operation. As this column has discussed previously, when you
pull up to the drive-through window, they don’t ask you what you want.
They ask, “How are you?” Thus far I’ve resisted the urge to tell them
about my bunions (assuming I actually have bunions, and don’t you just
want to know), but some day when I’m bored, one never knows.
But when it comes to
advertising taglines, who came up with “That’s right™”?
I’ve had some
exposure to the advertising business. I know that a tagline is supposed
to grab the attention of the audience while saying something compelling
about the product or brand. Brevity can be king. “Just do it” speaks to
an attitude that has made Nike millions. “It’s in the game” proclaims EA
Sports to be the center of the action.
types like to try to come up with the next famous, award-winning brand
positioning. Sometimes they are a little too clever for their own good.
I can imagine how this creative session went.
“We need something
“Right! Like the
grizzle they re-use in the chili! Something daring!”
“That’s what I’m
“Don’t you see? It’s
bold! It’s the answer you want to every question you could possibly
“I’m still waiting
for the answer!!!”
“If we make ‘That’s
right’ the tagline, we’ll be declaring to the world that the most
correct answer you can possibly have for any question is Wendy’s!”
“You want to make
‘That’s right’ the tagline?”
“What? No! That’s
wrong! That’s not a tagline! It’s an affirmation!”
“Isn’t that what a
tagline should be?”
Mr. Italics wins the
debate and gets to present the idea to the client, who is skeptical at
first, but Mr. Italics can be persistent, and by the end of the
presentation he has convinced Wendy’s executives that “That’s right”
will persuade hungry burger-seekers and bored hockey patrons everywhere
to buy the square patties that were juicy 20 years ago, which is why
they no longer use the tagline “Hot and Juicy” in case you hadn’t
It occurred to me
that you could actually use the tagline “That’s right” for absolutely
anything. Paper bags. Hot dog buns. Disposable douches.
Disposable Douche. That’s right!”
You could use it for
anything at all. And I guess it’s occurred to the folks at Wendy’s as
well, which is why they have actually trademarked the phrase “That’s
That’s right. You
can’t say it anymore. It’s their intellectual property.
Oops. I’m in trouble
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