“It’s funny. It’s self-deprecating. Better than that, it’s honest.”
After finalizing all of their advertising in October, the popular fast food chain Arby’s realized they made huge mistake. They forgot to include Pepsi in at least two commercials (this is a term in their agreement with the company). So the company teamed up with Fallon, an Ad agency based out of Minneapolis, to create a commercial solely about Pepsi to make up for their blunder. The commercial is simply a glass filled with fizzing Pepsi. In a voice over by Ving Rhames, he say “Arby’s messed up and forgot about the second commercial. So here it is. Pepsi, cool, refreshing, and goes great with Arby’s sandwiches and other Arby’s foods. Arby’s: We have Pepsi.”
This spot will stopped running on December 13. Although the commercial is only airing in Los Angeles, New York, and Minneapolis, it already has over one million views on YouTube. I think the ads honesty is what draws people to it.
Matt Heath, the creative director at Fallon, calls this “brand authenticity.” Simply, this means the company tells it to you straight in the ad and does not lie or sugar coat it. Other examples include Old Spice, Starbucks (people don’t like dark roast, so they made blonde roast), and Nike.
“We don’t think consumers need to be talked down to,” says Heath. “Too often in advertising, brands feel like it’s necessary to hold the hand of the consumer through the messaging. But consumers are smart, intelligent, and savvy. So we have a very straightforward message.”
This commercial helps give a better image of advertisers and ads in general. The profession has a bad reputation for lying and being deceitful and manipulative, this ad is admitting its fault and coming clean about it. This ad shies away from story telling and just tells the real deal.
So what does everyone think about this new ad? I think it is kind of refreshing to watch this honest ad. I really do not understand how the Arby’s marketing and advertising team could have forgotten such a huge part of their advertising, but it happened. I think what they did helped to make up for it. Pepsi obviously was okay with it too. This ad technique doesn’t work for every company, but Arby’s made it work for them.
Suddath, C. (2014, December 5). Arby’s Made a Commercial for Pepsi, and It’s Great. Retrieved December 15, 2014, from http://www.businessweek.com/articles/2014-12-05/arbys-best-commercial-yet-is-actually-for-pepsi
I think this is a funny and responsible way to make up for Arby’s mistake. I think they hit it spot on, that no one needs to have their hand held through advertising and media anymore, and so this it entertaining because of it’s bluntness.
I guess I think it is pretty funny that they forgot about the second commercial. With that being said I think sometimes companies need to find a scapegoat for their mistakes. I think this was a pretty successful way of doing so, however I also think if this is airing it can be very easily misinterpreted and will confuse a lot of people on the purpose of the commercial.