There are a lot of reasons I don’t go to Applebee’s. Mainly because the food is mediocre and the atmosphere is kind of weird. But Applebee’s thinks the reason I, and a lot of other gals like me I guess, aren’t frequenting their chain of restaurants is because we’re spending too much time online. And furthermore, that this computer I’m using right now is more interesting — ostensibly — than face-to-face interaction. I don’t mind their little leap in logic because I think there should be a limit to “screen-time” in everyone’s life. What I mind is that they chose to have a crazy woman yell at me about it in their new ad campaign. See the video below, but turn your sound down. It’ll scare you how loud it is when she interrupts.
There are more where this came from, attempting to target different female demographics on the Internet. And I get the idea: Bring back happy hour. The tagline is, “Life is better shared,” which I agree with. But this woman dressed head-to-toe in Chico’s apparel yelling “FOR SERIOUSLY?” at me isn’t the right way to sway me. Also, I think it’s a pretty big risk to make the Internet — you know, that thing everyone loves — into the enemy. You can watch the Twitter one here, and here’s the Facebook one, just to give you a sense of the full idea.
This video bothers me on several levels, but I think the main one is that it marginalizes women as happy-hour-gossip-robots who just need to break our hypnotic trance with the Web long enough to remember that we like drinking mimosas at middle-American chain-bars while gossiping instead of doing so on the Internet. There’s just something about that I don’t totally identify with. So is this a creative shock-campaign, or just another outdated brand trying to stay current and failing miserably?
What do you think of this campaign?