Is DiGiorno Pizza’s “Wyngz” the WORST product name ever?

wyngzWell, probably not. But it’s up there, that’s for sure. As Steven Colbert explains, the name is the result of a horrible combination of Federal regulation and Kraft’s desire for something trademarkable™. According to the Feds, if a “wing-shaped” or “bite-size appetizer product” doesn’t contain any “wing meat” it cannot be labeled as a “chicken wing.” And Pizza and Nuggets sounds like a kids meal. Memo to the fine folks at Kraft’s marketing department: You really didn’t need to ™, ®, or © the name. No one else will ever use it.

Here’s another issue: How do you order one of these? (We’ll leave the question of why for another day.) Is it a Wyng™? Or is Wyngz™ itself the singular and the plural is Wyngzes™? Also, these are described as “boneless Wyngz™.” Does that mean there is a version with a Wyngz™ bone still in it?

Domino’s realizes it makes really bad pizza

Did you know Domino’s makes lousy pizza? While this is well known throughout the rest of the nation it seems to have just become known to those at Domino’s HQ. (Only possible explanation: The execs make too much money to eat their own product.)

For a while the company tried — and failed — to make up for this by offering its product in other forms (Bread sticks! Bread bowls! Dessert Pizza!).

Now it is facing the issue head-on by saying anything that might have gone wrong is all in the past.

I love the way the execs talk about how upset they are about everyone saying the crust tastes like cardboard. They never actually apologize for making lousy pizza or explain why it happened.

Best example is this quote from company prez Patrick Doyle: “Some people didn’t give us credit for the taste of our product. That’s what we’re fixing.”

What the hell does that mean? They’re fixing people not giving them credit?

Then there’s the head chef saying, “It hit you in the heart. This is what I’ve been doing for 25 years now.” Which begs the question – Why are you still employed?

The company seems to have copied the entire ad from another Michigan based firm – GM. Like GM’s classic weasel words mea culpa, this one starts with a call to the old days when the firm was great. Except in Domino’s case the firm was never great. It was (and is) big and profitable. But it has always been known for making a product was cheap and vaguely edible, a boon to students everywhere. Harking back to that is just bizarre.

The CMO talks about how they couldn’t just tinker but had to start over from the beginning. Starting over means including such innovative things as garlic, oregano and basil. WOW!!! How the hell did they think of this?

This is all part of a classic PR strategy of immediately saying the problem is in the past even if it’s the first time it has ever been mentioned. This approach was best summed up by that great business writer Christopher Marlowe. In his play The Jew Of Malta the character Barabas brushes away any insinuation he has done wrong saying, “But that was in another country; and besides, the wench is dead.”

Pizza chain kills ad featuring zombie celebs

New Zealand’s Hell Pizza chain has buried an ad “showing the corpses of actor Heath Ledger, Britain’s Queen Mother and Mount Everest conqueror Sir Edmund Hillary dancing on a grave.” The ad on the company’s website had all three emerging from graves and then dancing to Michael Jackson’s song “Thriller.”

FWIW, “Last year, complaints forced [the company] to withdraw billboards showing Adolf Hitler clutching a slice of pizza in a Nazi salute.”

As David St. Hubbins put it, ” It’s such a fine line between stupid, and clever.” Except in this case.

That said, I was amused by the Sell Your Soul offer on the website:

Your soul doesn’t do much. You can’t feel it. You can’t see it. It sucks at making coffee, and when you’re buggered after a hard day, it’ll never have dinner on the table. So give it to us. Then you can begin your descent into HELL. The deeper you go, the more retribution you’ll receive for your measly soul. The retribution could be anything from free morsels of food to exclusive access to random stuff. That all depends on how good you are at being bad. And if you make it right into the darkest depths of HELL, then you’ll receive free pizza for life. So sell your soul to us.

Pizza chain offers cheesy apology for insulting LeBron James

In an effort to have their vaguely pizza-like product and eat it too, Papa John’s “issued an apology to Cleveland and the Cavaliers for making T-shirts with LeBron James‘ number and the word ‘crybaby’ under it.”  On Thursday Cleveland residents will be able to get a large, one-topping alleged pizza from the chain for 23 cents, James’ jersey number. The company is also kicking in $10K to a charity sponsored by the Cavaliers.

Second prize is two Papa John’s pizzas for 23 cents.

Yes I know there are places in this nation where Papa John’s is considered good pizza. I weep for those places. In Boston we have places that have already been closed by the Health Department that make better.

Court rules on the obvious: The words “Irish” & “Pizza” should never go together

An Irish court has found against a Belfast pizzeria that sued a newspaper for libel over a bad review.

Why is it that when I think Irish pizza I imagine something with cabbage and corned beef on it?*

And, speaking from experience here, if you’re ever in Dublin — FOR GOD’S SAKE DON’T GO OUT FOR CHINESE!

*FWIW: Mr. Collateral Damage’s mom’s last name is Byrne and her hair is red. Her mum was a Cremin. She’s one of the real Irish who would just as soon kill you for mentioning leprechauns and such.

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