It’s hard to believe that nobody saw it. Not the creative team. Not anyone from the company. No one from Denny’s, apparently, looked at its new mascot and saw, well, doo doo.
That’s exactly what the internet instantly deemed the cute sausage link with the long Mr. Potato Head arms and Indiana Jones hat.
Denny’s no doubt spent a substantial amount of money on having its mascot developed. Its creative Twitter account has been mum so far about it. It hasn’t introduced him. It hasn’t given him a name. It hasn’t acknowledged that he is already developing a shitty reputation.
OK, so now what?
Denny’s can go one of a few ways:
1. Get rid of it asap. Kill it off. Flush it. Admit it was an error in judgment but have fun with its demise. A comical parting of ways could work well. Have the creative team go back to the drawing board and try, try again. It’s OK. Shit happens.
2. Keep it and humorously acknowledge what people are saying. Have him write a letter to his cousin Hankey in South Park, Colo., seeking advice. Have him in therapy to deal with how people view and treat him or writing Dear Diary entries. Have a “Don’t Judge a Book by its Cover” campaign. He can be a sympathetic character. Capitalize on the buzz.
3. Similar to No. 2, just own it. Have fun on social media with memes, polls on best names for the mascot, contests with best mascot jokes, etc. In restaurants, maybe have his shoulders-up “school” pictures as signage. Perhaps have a message of inclusion – Poopy Lives Matter. Or make him defensive at the mere suggestion that he looks like crap and have him cocky and proud of his appearance. “People – I’m a sausage link!! Get your minds out of the toilet!!”
Be clever with this. And if people don’t like it, they can order bacon with their pancakes.