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Mangled Message: I Never Sausage a Bad Mascot

Posted by Jim Karrh

Oct 4, 2017 11:40:00 AM

Dennys

Our latest Mangled Message™ illustrates the messiness of “sausage-making.” Actually, in this case, it is a big mess caused by sausage-mascot-making.

Denny’s recently introduced a new mascot that is intended to be a sausage—a more humanized, hat-wearing sausage.

Much of the intended audience—at least the loud subset of the audience which is active on Twitter—has interpreted it otherwise. Let’s just say that their descriptor rhymes with “bird.” Or “absurd.” And there are a lot of bathroom references. And hashtags such as #literallypoop.

As @Algerrish asked in a tweet, “Why would you do this to yourself? No. Please No.”

I see Mangled Messages arising from time to time due to different types of bad decisions. Sometimes it is a message problem, with content that is dishonest or detached from marketplace realities. At other times it is a problem with the messenger(s), who might be the wrong people to share the story or who do so clumsily. Then there are the management issues that are exposed when a message is too self-focused or is delivered inconsistently across communication channels.

In the case of Denny’s, there is clearly a message problem. Did no one test this sausage mascot with real people before placing it in their locations?

As @OriginalPSP tweeted, “Someone should have informed Denny’s that their new mascot doesn’t actually resemble a sausage.”

I’m sure the intentions were good. But the reality of implementation…well, it stunk.

And I managed to get through this post without sharing a “link.” (Sorry.)

Jim Karrh, Ph.D. shows companies how to communicate effectively - and consistently - with customers.

Topics: Mangled Message