Apparently conversations about cutting open Sea Captains for warmth and "anal warts" are pretty commonplace around Denny's. Actually, I haven't been in a Denny's for decades, so I can't attest to this. But that is what I infer from the press release the all-night restaurant chain sent across our transom the other day. Touting the branded entertainment Web series "Always Open," they say that the interview with Sarah Silverman "captures just some of the type of dialogue customers can expect to hear all the time at Denny's."
Well, maybe. Silverman is interviewed by host comedian David Koechner in a real dining booth at a genuine Denny's in this series by the Jason Bateman and Will Arnett branded media shop, Dumb Dumb. Silverman's signature innocent delivery of provocative lines has her suggesting that if stranded on an island she and Koechner might slit open the captain for warmth and food. But Koechner didn't even men mention that it was cold. The "anal warts" reference comes when she list two truths and a lie about herself. We actually don't want to know.
Well, conversations at Denny's definitely have changed since I was there in 1992.
Some may wonder if the famously conservative Denny's brand is fully aware or approving of this specific content being associated with their brand. Well, actually the press release pretty much promises frankness as part of the Silverman brew, so corporate seems to be aware of what its marketing tentacles are up to. But I have to figure it this way. Those who would be put off by Silverman's girlish but rude shtick are not watching branded Web videos, especially not the ones at CollegeHumor.com, where the video is being hosted.
I have not been a great fan of some previous Dumb Dumb efforts, including the overplayed self-consciously edgy Orbit "Dirty Mouth" spots and an Old Navy video.
But the Always Open series seems to get it right. The other spots try too hard to imagine their way out of traditional advertising an overwrought premise. This series just offers straight ahead entertaining content in the brand's context. Rather than "product placement," it feels more like "entertainment placement."And it seems like cagey targeting to me. Is there anyone who needs an all-night spot to sober up than college students?