“Thank Goodness It’s Friday’s!”
A very popular restaurant has been using that slogan for almost forty years, now. Can you believe it? (I can, but then again, I’m not forty, either, so I have to read about it.) Have you noticed the recent change in it, though? Now it’s:
“Thank God It’s Friday’s!”
It’s very subtle. All they did was take out five little letters, but it completely changes the meaning. Thank Goodness is more innocent and happy-go-lucky, as in “Yay, it’s Friday. We should go play Frisbee and go to the drive-in.” Thank God sounds more like “I hate my job” or “I need a drink!” (Of course, you can say Thank Goodness and still mean, “I need a drink!” but at least you don’t sound like a drunk.) Using God in place of Goodness is more emphatic, which is what I think Friday’s is going for, but it’s emphatic in a negative light.
It also seems a little sneaky if you ask me. Remember when Coke made a sneaky switch in the early nineties? Their slogan changed almost over night from “Can’t beat the feeling” to “Can’t beat the real thing.” (“Real Thing” and “Feeling” even rhyme. That’s sneaky and clever.)
So why make such a subtle change? Think about it this way. We’re in a recession and consumers need more conviction when they buy things. They really have to get their money’s worth, you know, streeeeeeaaaaatch that dollar! Well, it’s tricky for brands like Friday’s because they have to really set themselves apart from other eateries with new ads and promotions while keeping prices low and somehow figuring out how to turn a profit. (Layoffs, sadly, tend to work pretty well to save money.) Using big-G God is also a way to appeal to a younger, less traditional (and naively more liberal) crowd of consumers.
Don’t worry, marketers aren’t all bad, just most of them. You still have a choice, but if you’re not carefully listening, ads can make up your mind on more than just where to spend your money.
By: S. Cole Garrett