Smashburger, our locally born and quickly proliferating burger chain, is taking its wares to the small screen with its first-ever television ads. One thirty-second spot, created by Denver-based Definite Productions, is a burger-fan dream sequence, reportedly complete with actual beef patty-smashing action meant to demonstrate the differences between Smashburger's hand-smashed burgers and other burger joints' NOT hand-smashed anythings. Sounds good, but we think Smashburger could do even better.
Here's our list of five awesome, completely viable television ad ideas for Smashburger. (*Warning*: There may be people/animals/other things harmed during the production of these commercials.)
5. Tom Ryan channeling romance novel glamor Smashfounder Tom Ryan, a bona fide food-industry rock star (and the brains behind the McDonald's McGriddle sandwich) is a very pretty man. He is tall, tanned, impeccably dressed and has flowing locks that rival those of Fabio in his heyday -- so what better way to promote Smashburger than to put Ryan's suave good looks out there, on TV, to lure in the ladies (and probably some gentlemen)? Yes, Smashburger should use one of the oldest marketing tricks in the book: sex appeal. Give Ryan a poofy white silk shirt with lace-up front and David-Bowie-tight britches, put him in front of an industrial-sized fan for maximum hair-blowing...and have him look into the camera and then say something profound, like "So very pleased to meat you!" 4. This is your brain...on Smashburger Anyone who had enough earth years to be cognizant in 1987 definitely remembers the now-cult-classic "This is your brain....this is your brain on drugs" commercial put out by Partnership for a Drug-Free America (how's that working out, BTW?). An egg is cracked on the edge of a hot frying pan, the egg pops and crackles loudly as it sears, and...well, you get it. Smashburger's marketing execs should try this visually-stimulating tough love approach to pushing its products. How about a hot grill, a Smash-patty sizzling on it, and a voiceover in the background saying, "This is your burger...this is your burger on Smash. Any questions?" 3. A hot celebrity endorsement Basic marketing 101 dictates that in order to make a product popular fast and hard, a celeb commercial spot is the golden ticket. A couple of high-profile A-list movie or television stars licking around the edges of a Smashburger bun will have customers lining up to suck the stores dry of juicy burgers and Smashfries before you can say, "Where's the motherfucking beef? Right here!" If Smash can't get an A-list tough guy, maybe it could go for Tom Sizemore (if Smash can post his bail) or Bruce Jenner (if is has a bottle of lotion to bribe him with). Or if Smash wants the best celeb bang for its burger bucks, it can pay George Takei to eat a Smashburger and write about it on his Facebook page: That guy has the entire universe following his posts, and it's obvious during every Comic Con that Trekkies have disposable income. 2. Have George R.R. Martin write and direct the commercial Game of Thrones writer George R.R. Martin would be an excellent choice to direct a series of Smashburger commercials, and as fans know, he's probably got the spare time to do it since he is conspicuously NOT working on his next book. He could easily -- but maybe not cheaply -- write and direct a string of witty, dialogue-heavy spots, bright and image-friendly with medieval pageantry and a slew of characters who will become beloved to television commercial watchers in every time zone, then end them with a "Red Wedding-esque" scene where all the main characters are enjoying a pleasant meal at Smashburger until they are betrayed by a chain mail-clad foe who tells them, "Burger Kings sends its regards!" right before he cuts all their throats and everyone falls to the floor and dies.
The last ad should probably run in a late-evening slot after children and the elderly are asleep.
1. The mindless, thought-controlled McLemmings Apple Macintosh's "1984" commercial (directed by an up-and-coming Ridley Scott) is one of the most recognizable television commercials ever made; that girl with the sweatband who hurls that hammer into the huge screen with the creepy, talking guy created a pivotal moment in advertising history. This commercial taught us that spending a stupid amount of money ($900k), using a disturbing world domination and control theme, and telecasting during the Super Bowl all contribute to the making of a turbo-iconic product advertisement that people still remember almost thirty years later. Smashburger should absolutely follow this blueprint and create a commercial so epic that people will be talking about it thirty years from now.
Picture this: A muted, industrial setting filled with McDonald's drones, and a giant screen with Ronald McDonald communicating eerie, corporate-speak phrases while a lone Smashburger employee runs from an army of Grimace characters in riot gear, and hucks a ball of raw hamburger against the screen, smashing it into a patty while simultaneously busting the dystopian McDonald's clown right in the red nose, freeing all the drones from the psychic hold that McDoo had over them.