There are a variety of slogans restaurants use to promote its food. The most popular of all-time is the Wendy’s “Where’s The Beef” slogan.
The phrase first came to public attention in a U.S. television commercial for the Wendy’s chain of hamburger restaurants in 1984. The strategy behind the campaign was to distinguish competitors such as McDonald’s and Burger King and their popular sandwiches (Big Mac and Whopper) from Wendy’s smaller single burger, by focusing on the large bun used by the competitors and the larger beef patty in Wendy’s sandwich. In the ad, titled “Fluffy Bun,” actress Clara Peller receives a burger with a massive bun from a fictional competitor, which uses the slogan “Home of the Big Bun.” The small patty prompts Peller to angrily exclaim, “Where’s the beef?” The catchphrase was repeated in television shows, films, magazines, and other media outlets. Even today, people associate “Where’s the beef” with the Wendy’s commercials from nearly 35 years ago.
Popular fast food slogans
There have been numerous other fast food slogans and catch phrases over the years, among them:
- KFC: Finger-lickin’ good
- Taco Bell: Think outside the bun/Head for the border/Yo Quiero Taco Bell
- Dairy Queen: Hot eats, cool treats
- McDonald’s: I’m lovin it
- Dunkin’ Donuts: America runs on Dunkin’
- Subway: Eat Fresh
- Papa John’s: Better ingredients, better pizza
One of the most popular, or most advertised, of today’s fast food era is the latest campaign and slogan from Arby’s:
We HAVE the Meats
According to this article by Eater.com “Arby’s believes its new tagline, “We have the meats” (plural), will make it popular amongst that finicky millennial crowd.”
As Adweek pointed out in 2014, this is the debut of campaign for Minneapolis-based ad agency Fallon Worldwide, Arby’s current agency of record.
The voice behind the campaign
While many people believe the voice behind the campaign is James Earl Jones, the voice of the “We HAVE the Meats” campaign is actually actor Ving Rhames, a Golden Globe winning actor who has appeared in over 75 movies, including Mission Impossible, Pulp Fiction, Undisputed, Casualties of War, I Now Pronounce You Chuck and Larry and many more.
Back in 1981 Arby’s used the slogan America’s Roast Beef, yes sir! Today, Arby’s features the “We HAVE the Meats” campaign and it could just be the most annoying fast food slogan in the history of fast food slogans. Rhames deep voice is an excellent choice for the slogan as he dramatizes things such as roast beef, corned beef, angus steak, brisket and more, highlighting the potential to get massive, meaty sandwiches. And you can get that if you stick to the regular menu at Arby’s. On a recent stop we ordered the original medium roast beef sandwich and it was piled high with roast beef and fulfilled that Arby’s crave. We also ordered three $1 roast beef ‘n cheese sliders, and that was nothing but bun. In fact, there was more meat on a medium roast beef sandwich than there was on three roast beef ‘n cheese sliders combined. There are five total sliders available, including the Chicken ‘n Cheese Slider with a breaded chicken tender; Corned Beef ‘n Cheese Slider; Jalapeño Roast Beef Slider and the Ham ‘n Cheese Slider.
Does the campaign actually work?
Here’s a tip: Skip the slider and stick to the original roast beef, you will get more meat for your buck. What we really want to know is, why is Rhames YELLING AT US IN THE COMMERCIALS? Will that make us want to go to Arby’s? Or will it annoy us and keep us from visiting the restaurant.
But, here’s another scenario we pondered: Did the campaign work? As we pulled into the Arby’s in St. Peter, Minnesota, we couldn’t help but find ourselves talking about how annoying the “We HAVE The Meats” slogan is and why the commercial yells at us about having a lot of meat. We love meat, so more meat the better. But would we have stopped at Arby’s without the slogan? It’s hard to say. Maybe it did work, maybe it’s supposed to be annoying to get you talking about Arby’s and then, eventually going to Arby’s. And now we are writing about it. So, while it’s the most annoying fast food slogan in the history of fast food slogans, it must be working, right?
Of course, residents of Inver Grove Heights have to travel outside of the city to Woodbury, Eagan or Worst Saint Paul (West Saint Paul) to get the roast beef taste Arby’s provides. That’s okay though, on the wish list of residents IGH would like to see come to the city, Arby’s is rarely mentioned.
Arby’s – they have the meats. Indeed they do. They also have an annoying slogan – perhaps the most annoying slogan in fast food restaurant industry. But did it work, did the voice of Rhames subliminally yell at us to “TURN INTO THE NEAREST ARBY’S AND ORDER A MEAT SANDWICH?”
Maybe, maybe not. We had the meat at Arby’s. Stick to the original roast beef sandwich (with curly fries of course) and avoid the sliders. THEY DON’T HAVE THE MEAT!
What do you think, do you find the new Arby’s slogan annoying, catchy or none of the above? Discuss!
Arby’s, headquartered in Atlanta, Ga., was founded in 1964 and was the first nationally franchised sandwich restaurant brand. There are now more than 3,300 Arby’s restaurants worldwide. Arby’s features a variety of roast beef sandwiches and fresh deli-style sandwiches, along with its famous curly fries and Jamocha shakes, among other quick-serve restaurant foods.