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Against The Grain by: Andy Sullivan

Have you ever thought about where popular slogans such as “Where’s The Beef” and “We Do Chicken Right” originated? In the case of KFC, theirs was a 1981 ad campaign.  Wendy’s memorable “Where’s The Beef” ad was used in the 1980’s and popularized in ads by the late actress Clara Peller.  Founder Dave Thomas wanted bigger patties on burgers. He was never satisfied with the ones he ordered at other restaurants, thus we have the larger square patties you currently order at Wendy’s (I had a double from Wendy’s the day before this was written, by the way).  Interesting little tidbit, Dave always ordered a single patty burger and a cup of chili. Why do I pair KFC and Wendy’s so closely together? Dave actually parted ways with the KFC franchise in 1969 to start the franchise he named after his daughter Melinda Lou, known as “Wendy”.  He said he couldn’t find a good burger in Ohio, thus Wendy’s was born.
All of these memorable ad campaigns are the product of a think tank, most usually.  Some slogans, however, are just stumbled upon accidentally.  The slogan “It’s Hot, Don”, which I wrote about in a previous column, comes to mind.  If you recall, they were trying to get a commercial done and were looking for something to fill the last few seconds.  It was very hot that day, thus the immortal phrase was born. 
Another one, and you knew I’d have to fit wrestling in here, is Stone Cold Steve Austin’s catchphrase in his final run in WWE.  What was the phrase? No, that’s not a question.  He actually said “What”.  As annoying as it was, it become, unbelievably, catchy.  It was born as result of a bad cellphone connection!
See how much fun it can be discovering pop culture origins?

Hello, my name is Andy Sullivan. I received my bachelor’s degree in business from Mid-Continent University in May 2009. I began writing for Beech Tree News in July 2009.  I enjoy playing guitar, the occasional Wii game, writing, and listening to music. I write a sports blog that can be found at   If you have a comment, feel free to leave it in the space below.



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