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Marketing Bites: Arby’s has a beef with McDonald’s over a fish sandwich

The chain enlisted rapper Pusha T to create a video to promote its new Spicy Fish Sandwich, while panning the Filet-O-Fish, plus more marketing news of the week.
Photographs courtesy of Arby's
Photographs courtesy of Arby's
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Welcome to RB’s weekly roundup of the latest developments in restaurant marketing.

Arby’s is airing a beef with McDonald’s, via a just-dropped diss track from rapper Pusha T, to hype its new Spicy Fish Sandwich.

The rapper, known to his fans as King Push, shared the 75-second video this week on Twitter, which includes lines such as, “Filet-O-Fish is **** and you should be disgusted” and “How dare you sell a square fish, asking us to trust it?”

Pusha T has had a long-standing beef with McDonald’s. He has long contended that he and his brother, also a rapper, played a role in writing McDonald’s popular “I’m Lovin’ It” jingle nearly two decades ago, but weren’t adequately compensated for their efforts.

“I’m the reason the whole world love it, now I gotta crush it,” he says in the Arby’s rap.

By mid-day Wednesday the Filet-O-Fish diss track had been viewed more than a quarter of a million times on YouTube and Pusha T’s tweet (which included the hashtag #ArbysPaidMeButIWouldSayThisAnyway) had been shared more than 22,000 times. On Twitter, the video has been viewed more than 5.7 million times.

Feuds between restaurant chains, especially over social media, have long been a favorite marketing gimmick.

Hopefully, for the sake of the sales of Arby’s new sandwich, none of the brand’s customers gave up diss tracks for Lent.

In any case, Arby’s now apparently has the meats … and the beats.

Take a look at Arby's diss track video


Dasvidaniya, Moscow Mule

Hooters has renamed its popular Moscow Mule cocktail, in deference to the war in Ukraine.

The lime-ginger drink is now called an American Owl. And the casual-dining chain is encouraging customers to round-up their tabs to assist with the humanitarian relief effort in Ukraine.

Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has caused some restaurants to rethink their personas.

Taste of Europe in Arlington, Texas, covered up the word “Russian” on its sign and rebranded its menu to “Eastern European” instead of Russian, according to media reports.

And some restaurants have removed the Canadian dish called poutine from menus because its name is too similar to Russian President Putin’s.

Loyalty is king

Hardee’s and Carl’s Jr. launched My Rewards Wednesday, a new loyalty program available through the apps for both quick-service chains.

Loyalty members get 10 stars for every dollar spent, with free food available at 150, 300 and 500 stars, parent CKE Restaurants said in a statement. The chains are offering free food, exclusive offers and other incentives to get diners to sign up for the rewards program.

Sandwich chain Quiznos on Wednesday debuted a redesigned “Toasty Points” rewards program to offer “more control when redeeming the points they’ve earned,” the brand said in a statement.

Quiznos diners earn a point per dollar spent and can cash them in on a tiered system. For 25 points, for example, they can get 15% off an order. For 100 points, customers can score a free 12-inch sub.

The Human Bean adds a CMO

Medford, Ore.-based coffee chain The Human Bean has hired Janie Page as chief marketing officer, according to an announcement this week.

Page has worked for a large Papa John’s franchisee, as well as in marketing for Community Coffee Company, Cracker Barrel and more.

At The Human Bean, which has 300 locations open and under development, she will manage brand strategy, menu innovation, advertising and digital initiatives.

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