Wednesday, May 06, 2009

I know it's too late for an April Fool's joke, but that's the only reasonable explanation for this one

Non-political post ahead...

Earlier today, I was shopping at my local Fry's (the supermarket, not the electronics store) when I did a double-take.

I turned a corner to head up an aisle and what did I see?

A stack of 50 pound bags of a new dog food.

Old Yeller Dog Food.
pic from the Pissed Off Gamer blog
Based on this press release, it seems that this is a Fry's exclusive.

I'm not sure who in this fiasco is more clueless - the Disney types who licensed this use of their movie, or the Fry's marketing types who bought into this hook, line, and sinker.

From the press release -
"The movie is a timeless classic that transcends generations, and webelieve this brand will appeal not only to original fans, but to the millionsof Americans who share the same kind of special bond with their beloved dogs,"said Barry Vance, Kroger senior corporate category manager.

"Bringing Disney's Old Yeller brand to a trusted retailer like Kroger wasa natural fit," said Christopher King, category director, Disney ConsumerProducts FMCG. "Disney's Old Yeller dog food is for those dogs that are partof the family."
Ummm...three points.

1. By the end of the movie, Old Yeller was rabid.

2. By the end of the movie, they had to shoot Old Yeller.

3. By the end of the movie, Old Yeller died.

It was a great movie in its day, but it was also heartbreakingly traumatic for most kids who ever saw it.

In addition, "its day" was over 50 years ago (it came out in 1957). Most people who are interested in buying dog food are far too young to have seen the movie.

Of course, that means that most people won't equate "Old Yeller" with "dead dog", but that's a bit of a pyrrhic victory marketing-wise, don't you think? I mean, most of the available market for the product is too young to understand the branding, and most of the ones that do understand the branding will associate negative images and feelings with it.


Thane Eichenauer said...

We lived in depraved times indeed.

Along the same lines, how many people have read the book "The Wonderful Wizard of Oz"?

(I'm working on reading it as the library didn't have a copy on their shelves.)

cpmaz said...

Depraved? Not sure that fits here, but it definitely reminds me of the time in 1984 when the Reagan campaign tried to co-opt Bruce Springsteen's song "Born in the U.S.A" without actually asking permission or even, you know, *listening* to the lyrics.

Thane Eichenauer said...

I'll revise my line...

We live in reduced times. I hardly have the time to study English vocabulary as I should.

Oh, the sorrow, the sorrow!