according to emily zager…

I’m all for free food, but…

Posted on: March 6, 2010

Stuart Elliott of the New York Times posted an interesting article yesterday discussing yet another marketing scheme via Denny’s.  The popular restaurant chain, known for their Grand Slams and other assorted All-American breakfasts, currently faces a little bit wrath due to a new promotional endeavor.  I’m all for innovative and unique reasons and methods to promote products and corporations, but when it comes to utilizing the anniversary of Ireland’s historical FAMINE?

Re-read that a few times.  Confused? I am.

I admit, though I’ve been exposed to Denny’s TV and radio advertisements, I haven’t bought in to them or made an appearance at a restaurant in a very long time.  As in… probably more than a decade or so… but I digress.  Denny’s is now popularly known for their publicity stunts promoting free breakfasts – remember the Super Bowl ad? Tempting, tempting.

Denny's Breakfast Promotions

The ads are often humorous, eye-catching and worthy of taking notice; I definitely had more than a share of friends taking part in the free-food adventure.  Although I don’t have a Denny’s in my vicinity to snatch up some free eggs and pancakes, this new pitch has rubbed me the wrong way like many of my fellow consumers.

Elliott writes that the spot’s purpose is ” to recognize the 150th anniversary of the end of the Irish famine, Denny’s would serve French fries and pancakes in all-you-can-eat portions.”

Yum, but… come again? Put the bacon down and get back to the drawing board.

Like the majority of well-known corporations, businesses and chains today, Denny’s facilitated Web 2.0 the best way they know how by infiltrating Facebook and other social media embassies to spread the word about this new promotional stunt. I’m not a fan of the restaurant chain on Facebook, but as a pretty active presence on Twitter, I looked into see if anybody was buzzing about the endeavor:

Twitter results image

Results for "Denny's" search via Twitter, 3/6/10

Side thought: funny this is occurring as St. Patty’s day looms right around the corner. Sorry, Denny’s, whether or not that was a purposeful decision, this is just all executed in bad taste. I’m  glad the chain has attempted to apologize (check out the article for more information)… but let this serve as a lesson for companies out there that encouraging a wee bit more of research and tact before putting something like this into motion doesn’t hurt anybody.

Thoughts? Complaints? Anybody hungry?

Irish Countryside

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Emily received her BA in Advertising & Public Relations from Loyola University Chicago in May 2010. She is inquisitive by nature and loves to surround herself with new situations, people and the world around her.

Emily is a lifelong dancer, a current ballroom dance instructor, and lover of all things social media. She's currently searching for a new career opportunity in PR, event planning or advertising. Take a peek at her musings about media, branding & the PR indsutry.

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