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Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Where's the Beef?

So, here's something that's been bugging me for a while. For the past month or so, Wendy's restaurant has been running ads on TV in which a Violent Femmes tune features prominently. By prominently, I mean the song is played loudly, as foreground music, and is meant to be heard, presumably for a hipster nostalgia effect, targeting the 30-somethings who grew up on that music. The first ad I saw with this song involved some semi-dorky guy making friends at the office by picking up food at Wendy's and dropping it off at his co-workers' desks. Nice guy, buying his way into people's hearts with baked potatoes, chili, and Frosters.

So, what's the song, exactly? Well, it is, exactly, "Blister In The Sun". Yeah, awesome song, with a distinctive guitar riff at the beginning (which is exactly the part that Wendy's uses in their commercial). So, here's what's bugging me: what marketing genius thought it was a good idea to use a song about, uh, autoeroticism for a company that makes hamburgers?

Incidentally, a Wikipedia article on this song includes the statement that, "According to lead singer Gordon Gano, this song is not about masturbation as popularly thought." It goes on (no pun intended) to provide an explanation for the "big hands" line in the song, as proof that the song isn't about that. However, nothing is mentioned about the more telling lines in the second stanza:

body and beats I stain my sheets I don't even know why
my girlfriend she's at the end she is starting to cry

If I'm feeling feisty, I may just add my own opinion to the Wiki article. But only if I'm feeling feisty.

In any case, it looks like Wendy's can now say that they found the beef. (Did they really think about this? Really? Or were they just caught up in the hook?)



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