It Looked Good on Paper

Looking good on paper – are you familiar with this concept? It’s one that makes something look great in theory, but rotten in reality – for example, communism, spandex, and New Coke.

barackIf you’re anything like me, you can’t help but be amazed at the sheer quantity of appearances President Obama has been making in the media, touting his economic recovery plan – an appearance on Leno, press conferences, countless magazine covers, and even taking a long enough break to make his March Madness picks on ESPN.

Understand that our President is not making all of these appearances just to get his name in the paper – he’s got an agenda: damage control. In addition to rallying the troops to support his economic stimulus plan, he has a $3.6 trillion budget to get approved for 2010 and then there’s that whole AIG thing. Plus, he’s trying to appeal to the huddled masses that elected him – those who saw their jobs eliminated or their homes foreclosed upon while executives take home massive bonuses, courtesy of taxpayer bailout money.

Wherever President Obama goes, so go the people to hear what he has to say, making him a marketer’s dream. “The Tonight Show” claims that his appearance last week garnered the highest ratings for the show since 2005, plus he’s making use of every tool available, thus reaching people on virtually every level. However, the question has been raised as to whether he is overexposed or merely maximizing his reach. Only time will tell, but so far, this media blitz looks great on paper and in practice.

bigmacOn the flip side, McDonald’s is testing a new product – the Snack Wrap Mac. For the unitiated, it is two all beef patties, special sauce, lettuce, cheese, pickles, onions…in a wrap. It’s $1.49, like Mickey D’s other wraps, and allegedly tastes “just like a Big Mac, but in a tortilla.” Huh? This is about as bizarre to me as Burger King unveiling a meat-scented cologne a few months ago. I just don’t get it – there are some things you don’t mess with, and the Big Mac is one of them. Does it look good, yet questionable, on paper? Well, it must to someone, but it has “epic fail” written all over it, much like the McCafe line.

quizno-logoFinally, Quizno’s is unleashing the “Toasty Torpedo,” 12 inches of flavor for a mere $4. Take that, Subway! As much as I love the concept, the creative involved in this campaign is a bit disturbing, yet completely appropriate for the brand – a husky-voiced toaster asks the chef to “say it sexy” and “put it in me.” However, $4 for 12 inches of processed meaty goodness? It’s all good on paper and in my belly. Score!

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