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The Week in Ideas, May 13, 2011

It was a bit slow for ideas this week. But the inspiration river didn't run dry, it just had a few weird things floating in it. Arby’s led things off with a challenge to Subway. Fight! Fight! Fight! Some Beef O’Brady’s down south may be regretting a free beer idea. What could possibly go wrong? And an indie in Los Angeles had the bright idea to paint a donkey. PETA, line one.

Idea #1 Lead idea: Declare a chicken war

Picking a fight can be a great way to get attention. It was true on the playground and it’s true in restaurants. Earlier this week Arby’s picked a fight with Subway. From May 9-22, customers can get Arby’s new Market Fresh® Grilled Chicken & Pecan Salad Sandwich for free. Then they go to Arby’s Facebook page and tell the world how it compares with Subway’s Orchard Chicken Salad sub. Fight! Fight! Fight! For every vote cast in the “Arby’s Chicken Salad Taste-Off” Arby’s will donate $1 to Share Our Strength, up to $25,000.

Idea #2 Seemed like a good idea at the time: Free beer

Last month five Beef O’Brady’s in Florida and Mississippi began a promotion: For every day of the NFL lockout, the restaurants would add a minute’s worth of free beer during happy hour on Tuesdays. As CNBC reported this week, minutes have now turned into over an hour. Surprisingly, the promotion hasn’t garnered much attention. "Yesterday, we gave away about six free pitchers and luckily there hasn't been anyone coming in just to drink free beer," said Bob Thenelius, manager of two of the units. Unfortunately, perhaps, CNBC reported on it this week.

 

Idea #3 Dumb ass idea: painting a donkey pink

 

So this was last week, but still needs mentioning. LA indie Pink Taco, known for wearing its offensiveness on its sleeve, proved it’s no one trick pony, offending animal rights activists—and most people with eyes—by painting a donkey pink as part of it’s Cinco De Mayo festivities. The restaurant defended the stunt to TMZ, but concluded “it was in their best interest to not do anymore animal-related promotions in the future.”

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