Power Rankings

Fast Food Marketing Power Rankings: Oct, 2011 edition

It’s fall in the Northern Hemisphere, which means it’s a new TV season. (Ever notice how TV new season’s seem to coincide with the Jewish New Year? Just saying…) The new TV season means new commercials. That means I’m due for another round of Fast Food Power Rankings. Previous versions can be found using these internal links. Disclaimers: (1) I am only judging the marketing, and not the food. (2) I only list what I see and hear from my TV and radio. So I might miss some here and there. (3) Don’t fret too much about the middle of the list. List most other lists, there is so little separation and difference between them that they are nearly interchangeable. And now, on with the show…

  1. McDonald’s – Hey look, Monopoly’s back! I’m surprised LeBron James can afford anything off the Dollar Menu since he is known for missing that fourth quarter.
  2. Wendy’s – We only hear Wendy’s voice, while we see her employees do all the work. It’s like a gluttonous “Charlie’s Angels.
  3. Taco Bell – I like how the flat bread sandwich commercial is mocking the “Celebrity Chef” posers out there. They know they are no different from the minimum wage earners that make our Nachos BellGrande.
  4. Carl’s Jr./Hardee’s – In a Clash of the Titans, this faux deity smites the Toyota Scion pretender.
  5. Domino’s – Nothing says pressure like having your reviews posted on the Times Square Jumbotron. So they better not let the cheese stick to the box, or skimp on the buffalo wings.
  6. Dunkin’ Donuts – Ahhhhhhh…. No comment here.
  7. Denny’s – Having these guys using pickups lines to describe their meals is so cheesy.
  8. Red Lobster – Endless shrimp? Any style? I couldn’t care less about the spokeswoman’s name (as if someone who is that good-looking actually works at a Red Lobster), this is a pretty good bargain.
  9. Chick-Fil-A – The cows turning a barn into a disco nightclub reminds me of this They Might Be Giants song.
  10. Subway – I don’t think they are trying this time. But Uncharted 3 does look like it could be Game of the Year.
  11. Papa John’s – They are sticking the their basic selling points: their ingredients, and their promotional sales. Sometimes simple can be effective.
  12. Pizza Hut – It’s telling how far Reggie Bush has fallen that he’s now doing Pizza Hut commercials. It’s also telling how Pizza Hut can’t get a NFL player whose star is rising. In other words, if they got say, for example, Cam Newton, PH would easily be in the Top 5 this month.
  13. TGIFriday’s – Just because they are not Applebee’s.
  14. IHOP – Quite forgettable this month. That’s not a good thing. I originally had them slightly higher, but I can’t remember why.
  15. Popeye’s – At least they are trying. Too bad the execution is not there.
  16. Applebee’s – Minus points for using announcers from ESPN, but especially Chris Berman. But at least they are not Buffalo Wild Wings.
  17. Friendly’s – At least they know that their reputation is based solely on their desserts.
  18. White Castle – I hope they will have a promotional tie-in this fall for the next Harold and Kumar movie.
  19. KFC – Hey, KFC, what part of the chicken is the popcorn? This reeks of hypocrisy.
  20. Cici’s – I know it’s not really pizza. But isn’t the point of a commercial is to make it look like pizza?
  21. Burger King – Maybe, just maybe, they will escape the bottom 3 of the rankings. Let’s see what a post-Creep King campaign looks like.
  22. Sonic – They’ve replaced ugly and annoying humans with ugly hot dogs (with annoying, stereotypical voice actors).
  23.  Buffalo Wild Wings – I feel bad for Gus Johnson. Even his enthusiasm can’t save this crap.
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