I've been thinking about a lot of product names lately, names that we see everywhere all the time that no one really thinks about. Things that make me think, "This is someone's job. Someone gets paid to do this. Someone is given money to give this thing a name." Such as the names on nail polish bottles. Red is not called red; green is not called green. Nonono, the names on nail polish bottles have titles such as, Vampire Red and Grizzly Green. Gayass Aqua and Butthole Pink. See? Someone got paid to look at the color red and say, "This isn't just red, ladies. It's vampire red! Grrrr!" And not only that, but everyone else in the room had to agree that no, this was not red at all, and if were any sort of a red, a red that would appeal to the general public, then it's Vampire Red. And then it got its name. Whereas if I was in a room holding a tiny pink bottle of nail polish in front of a group of people and I said, "Ladies, you may look at this bottle and think, 'Oh. it's just pink,' but I'm here to tell you that this isn't just any sort of pink, it's Butthole Pink!", I doubt I would have a job for very long. This all began to come to my attention when I heard a Taco Bell employee explaining to a little girl what "Think Outside The Bun" meant exactly.
"You know, like, Burger King...and McDonald's...and Wendy's...they all have buns. But we DON'T have buns. So we think outside the bun."
And that's how simple he put it. Because that's just how simple it is. And someone got paid to come up with that.
My curiosity (coughcoughlackofsociallife) led me to look up all the slogans of fast-food chains. Which ended up causing any doubt I had of how easy such a job would be to evaporate immediately in my mind. Because if the following slogans passed the test, then I sure as hell could get paid to make them. If only I had been in those meetings when they had been chosen, I, Natasha Fuckin' Ferrier. What would that have been like, I wonder....
(Keep in mind, every slogan suggested, besides my own genius ideas, were or are actual slogans of these restaurants.)
KFC Slogan Meeting
"Listen up, group. We've already fucked this chain with the name of it. I get calls every day with people asking me if we're only branched in Kentucky. What we need here is a good slogan to set our name straight. Yes, Tom."
"Well, I had an idea, Ms. Ferrier, how about, "There's fast food, then there's KFC." "
"Meaning what, Tom? That we're below all of our competitors? That there are our fast-food chains, then if that doesn't work out, you must resort to KFC?"
"No, like, there's fast-food, but KFC is better than that."
"Well then why don't you just say that, Tom. I don't like need subtle hints for a slogan, I need something straight to the point. Next."
"Well, I have a suggestion, Ms. Ferrier, what about, "We do chicken right." "
"Do we do the chicken, Mike?"
"Well, we make it...we prepare it..."
"But do we DO the chicken? Do we have actual intercourse with our chickens, Mike?"
"Of course we don't. Because that's disgusting as well as illegal. Look, enough. I was hoping you people would have something better to offer me. We're just going to have to go with my original idea. "Why did the chicken cross the road? So we could fry him for you."
Taco Bell Slogan Meeting
"Okay, people, so the whole Yo-quiero-Taco-Bell-chihuahua thing was a flop. Apparently it's racist to have dogs speaking in Spanish. We thought of changing it to a cat but apparently any animal speaking in Spanish is disrespectful to Hispanics. So, we need something new. And it can't be racist."
"I got it, Ms. Ferrier! Ahem..."Make a run for the border." "
"Stue, that is by far the most racist slogan you could have come up with."
"How 'bout we just go ahead and say, "If the wetbacks eat it, you probably can, too!" You know what, fuck it, we'll just have to go with that one. If we survived one lawsuit we sure as hell can survive another one. Wetbacks, it is."
Arby's Slogan Meeting
"Okay, team. The best thing we got going for us is our french fries aren't cut in straight lines. If you ask me, that ain't much. Now who's my genius with our new slogan?"
"Well, Ms. Ferrier, I was thinking "What are you eating today?" "
"Did you really just interrupt my meeting, Howard to ask me what I'm going to have for lunch after this."
"No, I mean...that's the slogan."
"The slogan is the question, "What are you eating today?" "
"No, Howard. That's confusing. And it's also insecure. Why would we be asking the public what they are eating today? As if they have some kind of choice? They don't have a choice, Howard. That's what a slogan is telling them. It's either us or nothing. Look. Maybe we just need to branch off of our strong suit - the curly fries. What makes them different from everyone else's fries is that they're curly, not straight. So. "You can't stick OUR fries up your ass." There. That'll show 'em. Meeting adjourned."
Jack in the Box Slogan Meeting
"Gather 'round, guys. We have a mascot that doesn't really make much sense. I don't know what kind of hallucinogens our Mascot Team was on when they designed a giant ping pong ball with an ice cream cone on its head on top of a human body, but we have the power to set those people straight; all we need is a powerful slogan."
"I was thinking, Ms. Ferrier, that since we want to advertise fresher fast-food than what our competition has, our slogan could be, "We don't make it until you order it." "
"Why haven't we made it yet, Tommy?"
"Because we want it to be fresh."
"Sounds to me like we haven't made it yet because we hire 300 pound teenagers to do our work for us, and they've been sitting around on their asses all day texting their mee-ma's. That's why we haven't made it yet."
"Well, no....not that we're slow to make the food, just..."
"Just that we've been busy texting our mee-ma's instead of serving our customers."
"I'm not sure what you mean by 'mee-ma' Ms. Ferrier..."
"Forget it, Tommy. You tried, you failed. Forget the ping-pong-ball-human, what we do have to work with is his name is 'Jack.' So, what are other chains compared to us? They're not shit. They're not jack shit. So here goes: "Jack in the Box. Because anywhere else isn't Jack." As in jack shit. Of course we can't say "shit" but people will know. Believe me, they'll know."
McDonald's Slogan Meeting
"Attention, McEmployees, I'd like to get this McMeeting started. We got real lucky, folks, let me tell ya. Taco bell got a big slap on the hand for using that Mexican chihuahua gimmick, but we've managed to get away with sporting a clown, which some professional clowns could raise hell about, and a burglar, which, even though he's a Hamburglar, is still an illegal profession altogether. The only fresh thing this chain can manage is a slogan. Pitch it to me."
"I have one, Ms. Ferrier! "Things that make you go 'mmmmm.' " "
" 'Mmmmm' is not even a word, Tony."
"Well, it's commonly known onomatopoeia..."
"Then we might as well say, "Things that make you go squishblooppshhhhh.' " You know what that is, Tony? It's the sound of a fart. Farts are also commonly known, aren't they, Tony? Next."
"Ms. Ferrier! "Bacon Bacon Bacon." "
"A.k.a. "Lard Lard Lard." Next."
"Ms. Ferrier! "You'll enjoy the difference." "
"Ha! Yeah. In your waistline. Next."
"Ms. Ferrier! "Feed your inner child." "
"Alright, Sam, I get what you mean. But we aren't marketing to smart people. Remember this. No one will understand that we mean that in a psychological or figurative manner. They will think we are targeting a strictly pregnant audience. And I don't think pregnant women should be feeding their growing fetuses Big Macs. Next."
"Ms. Ferrier! "You. You're the one." "
"You're ripping off The Matrix, Kyle. We'd be better off with a slogan like, "You had me at hamburger," or, "Show me the french fries," or, "McNuggets complete me." Next."
"I got it! "Did somebody say McDonald's?" "
"Yeah. You did. Just then. Next."
"I got it! "Do you believe in magic?" "
"Enrique, I know you're gay, but not everybody else in the world is. Next."
"McDonald's and you."
"WHAT AM I MCPAYING YOU PEOPLE FOR. ANYONE COULD THINK OF THESE MCSLOGANS. I COULD BRING CHILDREN IN HERE WHO WOULD SAY THE SAME MCSHIT YOU PEOPLE ARE FEEDING ME. Enough. I'll come up with it myself. Right here. Right now. "McDonald's Drive-Thru. Because we know you can't walk." McMeeting dismissed."
And that's how it's done. And I'm lovin' it.