Elemental Thinking: #9 "Where's the Beef?"
One of the most powerful and recognizable ad campaigns of the 20th century was created in 1984. (No, not Apple; the other one.) The client? Wendys. The Ad agency? Dancer Fitzgerald Sample. The talent? The inimitable Clara Peller.
The ad is titled "Fluffy Bun." Actress Clara Peller receceives a burger with a massive bun from a fictional competitor which uses the slogan "Home of the Big Bun." Peller looks inside the bun, only to see a minuscule hamburger. This causes her to angrily exclaim, "Where's the Beef?" And a new viral catchphrase was born. Pretty soon "Where's the Beef?" was coming up in everyday conversation, films, television shows and virtually every other form of media.
The commercial was directed by the brilliant and hilarious Joe Sedelmaier. It boosted sales more than Wendy's had ever dreamed of. It even became associated with the 1984 U.S. presidential election. In the Democratic primaries, Gary Hart and Walter Mondale were debating. Hart mentioned that he had "new ideas" for the country. Mondale paused, looked at Hart and said, "When i hear your new ideas, I'm reminded of that ad, 'Where's the Beef?'" Mondale won the primary.
Just another example of elemental thinking making a monumental difference.