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T.G.I. Fridays Pushes the Boundaries of Reality with ‘Endless Appetizers’

TGI F

These aren’t “endless” unless you’re discussing their shelf life.

The greatest sociological experiment of our time has begun–and it involves lots of appetizers.

One could discuss the marketing/brand identification strategy behind T.G.I. Fridays‘ decision to give all comers as many appetizers as they can stuff into their mouths this summer for the low price of $10. One could ask whether this attempt to woo cheap eaters is really all about the drinks they’ll justify with that two-digit total. One might even ask why Guy Fieri was not somehow involved.

But we just finished a super-long weekend, so this morning we’ll let USA Today (nice placement!) do the analysis for us…

First, some necessary clarifications: guests can only choose one of the chain’s many appetizers to place on infinity loop, so if one wants to mash boneless chicken wings and mozzarella sticks together until they’re completely indistinguishable from one another, said patron will just be out of luck.

Here’s Fridays CMO Brian Gies on how strictly servers will enforce the “one endless pile of appetizers per customer” requirement:

“At the end of the day, our servers aren’t policemen. We’re not going to slap someone’s hand if they reach over and share someone else’s mozzarella sticks.

No one should be embarrassed for coming into Fridays and ordering whatever they want to order.”

This should be interesting. We just imagined Gawker founder Nick Denton’s eyes growing wider at the thought of the traffic from an exclusive phone camera clip of the T.G.I. Fridays fight to end all T.G.I. Fridays fights.

The real story hidden beneath the grease, starch and empty calories is a trend piece about how young people are shying away from the chain spots and how this initiative is really the first step in a rebranding effort of the classic “we’re still here and we’re still cheap” variety.

Here’s our two cents: if cheap and convenient is your claim to fame, then you need to go all the way. Take, for example, the way New Yorkers document their Dallas BBQ experience on tumblr.

Also: celebrity endorsements are great, but unlicensed not-really promotions are better. You don’t really need to ask Prince and Diddy to get their permission.

Purple Rain

As delicious as the Peach Honey Smash may sound, it hardly has the brand-name recognition of the Ciroc Eclipse.

ciroc_eclipse_webslide_566px_357px_0

Think about it, Fridays.

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