October 25, 2007
Eat at Applebee's or Wanda Sykes will yell at you
The Times reports today that the casual dining industry is suffering this year, possibly because of shrinking discretionary budgets and better, healthier options available at cheaper places like McDonald's. Or maybe Americans have finally realized that paying $16.49 for a microwaved plate of soggy chicken cutlet topped with salsa from a jar and a blend of "American and Mexican cheeses" (aka Friday's "Sizzling Chicken & Cheese" entree) is a rip-off.
Time for a new ad campaign! Restaurants like Applebee's, Chili's, IHOP, and Outback Steakhouse have all hired new agencies, and a new Applebee's campaign launches this Sunday.
The new Applebee's ads feature Wanda Sykes as a sassy-talking apple that bitches at people eating alone at their desks to get their asses over to Applebee's with their friends. Sounds like a great formula for people who love getting told what to do by bossy black women! The Times had a great article last year about the probably offensive caricature of feisty, overweight black women being overused in ads, so maybe Applebee's wanted to recast the feisty black woman as an apple as a new, fresh expression of a tired old stereotype.
And, even better--Lori Senecal, the general manager of the ad agency, says, "We’re going to be the advocate for people 'togetherizing.'" The Times points out that this is "a made-up word".
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