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Last summer, Friendly's restaurants - a chain based here in New England and known for their great ice cream and KILLER peanut butter sauce - launched a new campaign.
They ran a series of radio ads - no doubt spending gobs of money - to tell people they had screwed up.
They talked about how over the years, they'd lost their way...and let the service slip.
They asked people to come back and give them another chance.
But they made a mistake. They were all talk.
We've gone back countless times - but not because of their marketing. We've gone back because their peanut butter sauce is like crystal meth.
They talked the talk...but didn't walk the walk.
That would be a marketing fail.
Perhaps they should have taken an approach sort of like this:
"Here at Friendly's, we know our service sucks. What do you expect when the average tip on the tab for a family of four is $2? But quit your complaining. We know we've got the best ice cream ever. Isn't that enough? Where else can you feed your whining, spoiled brats and both parents for under $20 and let them launch waffle cones filled with fudge across the restaurant? So cut us some slack. Eat your ice cream and shut up about the service. Another chain once said - 'when you're here, you're family'. But this family wants you to quit your complaining...unless you want to help with the dishes."
If you're going to launch a marketing campaign...you'd better live it and breathe it. If not...don't bother.