Saturday, March 3, 2012

While Supplies Last

  Sometimes it's humorous to see failed fast food promos based on movies.  One that comes to mind is Subway's and the movie Coneheads.  (based on Saturday Night Live's skit from 1977)  The movie bombed, costing $33M to make, but grossing only $21M (to include international and VHS/DVD sales). 

At the end, "actual employee" looks annoyed that he's selling product.

 I remember it vividly, because my ex-wife's dad worked as a manager at one, and I'd get a lot of Subway's food, at least one sandwich every day or two while I was working at GPS, which was kind of nice.  I'd get them because Bill Derk (her dad) was so sick of them he'd surrender his "one sandwich a day employee benefit" to either her or myself.  It happens, when you work at a restaurant, though when I worked the 3 months at the BK Lounge I never tired of the variety (though I'd make some interesting sandwich combinations, like an Italian Whopper (tomato, mozzarella, and pizza sauce [based from the Italian Chicken sandwich, often offered, including right now]).  Anyway, I learned a lot about Subway's.  The meats are almost all turkey-based, which gives it that cardboard, bland flavor.  I was always particularly horrified that people would put anything and everything on one of those subs (based on the submarine and not a freakin' subway, nice try, Subway's).  I mean, why would you put cucumber, mustard, lettuce, etc. on a meatball sub?  Madness.  I chalk that up to medicinal marijuana and/or retardation.  In New England, you'd be chased out of town by the villagers!
  Oh, I lost track.  So Subway's had a lot of Coneheads merchandise.  They bought too much of it.  To save waste overhead costs, they continued to use the cups and what-not for over a year!!!  The film already wasn't being offered at Blockbuster (remember that?  Actually renting videos at a store?)  It was odd to see the obvious failings of the corporate head of Subway's, hoping (wrongly) that Coneheads would be a huge success.  I was still drinking out of Coneheads cups in 1995!
  Burger King offered a few flops as well.  Star Trek: The Motion Picture glasses were particularly fail, as were 1976's King Kong and thier push for The Lord of the Rings was set to a happy, kiddy theme that was quickly pulled in 2001 before Fellowship of the Ring came out, "Follow the wonderful Hobbits in a magical adventure for the ring!"  (all happy-like) as if it was for little kids spoken by what sounded to be a gleeful leprechaun.  I guess the company heads didn't know what the movie was and might have watched Ralph Bakshai's The Hobbit back in 1977 on TV and thought Hobbits were like My Little Pony and Rainbow Brite.  Uh huh.

Down, down to Goblin Town

  McDonald's is also guilty of hoping to release movie-related promo stuff that utterly fails.  I mean, it seems that the movie might do well, but the American public is fickle.  It's why I stay away from vague stocks, like WalMart, that might suddenly be betrayed by the American mass to go to Target, or K-Mart.  Could happen at any time like chaos theory.  There's no accounting for pop-culture desire, and it's a deadly game.  K-Mart and Target also sell Chinese shirts and have a small profit-margin, just like WalMart.  It's just the randomness of it all that makes it work, for now.  The Great Muppet Caper was not that great of a flick, but McDonald's pushed it, though not a horrible fail.  Batman Forever glasses are laughable.
  Wendy's has failed worse, with movie-promo designs of Willy Wonka (2005), Garfield: The Movie, and, as a last, great hope by them, almost sadly, Jetsons: The Movie which it looks like they spent a lot of money for, as they even copied McDonald's happy-meal box for the occasion.  Sad.  Interestingly, Deep Roy became a keychain for the Wendy's Willy Wonka promo.  I think they had to enlarge his actual size so that he could be a keychain, lest he get lost.

"Come, Fellini." - Princes Aura (Ornella Muti) and Fellini (Deep Roy) Flash Gordon 1980

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