I first blogged about the Heart Attack Grill www.HeartAttackGrill.com a few years back. At that time, I was simultaneously appalled and attracted by their bald-faced campaign.
I was appalled for all the obvious reasons: The Heart Attack Grill featured dishes such as the Triple Bypass Burger that were served up by waitresses dressed as scantily-clad nurses. They also had multiple stretchers and gurneys on hand and an ambulance waiting in the parking should any patron actually suffer a heart attack. And, The Heart Attack Grill promised free meals to any patron who weighed more than 300 pounds.
Disgusting, yes? But, but it's also as transparent and authentic a marketing campaign as I've ever seen. Unlike so many other organizations, the Heart Attack Grill didn't serve up a set of false promises in its marketing only to disappoint customers with the actual experience. On the contrary, The Heart Attack Grill is THE poster child for properly aligning its brand and marketing messages with what we communications types call the 'end user experience.'
While I may detest everything the Heart Attack Grill stands for, and lament the loss of their 29-year-old spokesman, I applaud their honesty. The branding folks at BP, Toyota and The Catholic Church could learn a thing or two about transparency from the Arizona eatery's diabolically direct messaging. It's as simple and stark as, well, a heart attack.
Tip o' RepMan's hat (and a large order of fries) to Jimmy Moock for suggesting this post topic.