For the past few years, reality has seemed very much like a parody. But it looks like that might (hopefully) come to an end soon. And one could be forgiven if, while watching Saturday Night Live, a 15-second ad selling an Arby’s deep-fried turkey pillow seemed fake. But, it’s very much a real thing, promoting the brand’s limited-time Deep-Fried Turkey sandwich and wrap menu.
The ad (along with its 60-second companion) is classic “As Seen on TV” infomercial fare, with cheeseball graphics and voiceover. But where this turns into “Is this a real thing?” territory is the savvy placement in the second half of the show, when some of the weirder sketches and faux ads pop up. It fits beautifully there and may be hard to tell whether or not it came from the SNL writer’s room.
This weird (and, again, real) limited-edition headgear is available for $59.95 at a dedicated site. Chances are that this thing is going to sell out quickly. With that in mind, the brand is offering up opportunities to win the Ostrich Pillow-inspired headgear ahead of Thanksgiving, a time when naps are de rigeur post-turkey gorging.
“Everyone knows after an epic turkey meal, it’s epic turkey nap time,” said Joanne Torres, creative director at Fallon, the agency behind the stunt. “It only made sense to help Arby’s customers take incredible post-turkey naps whenever and wherever.”
“Our Deep Fried Turkey sandwiches are one of our guests’ returning favorites, and we wanted to take a different approach to this limited-time offering,” added Arby’s CMO Patrick Schwing. “This holiday season, leave the deep frying to us—the meat experts. And once you’ve enjoyed one of our deep-fried turkey sandwiches or the wrap, you can rest with the Deep Fried Turkey Pillow Hat. It’s the complete holiday experience.”
Those who don’t snap up the pillow can try it on using the online filter app or on Snapchat and Instagram. Post-SNL, the ad will run on other shows, including Bob’s Burgers.
This isn’t the first foray into headgear for Arby’s. During the 2014 Grammys, the internet (and other companies) went nuts when the brand engaged Pharrell Williams, asking for its hat back as the music star took the stage wearing a lid that resembled the QSR giant’s iconic logo.
It remains to be seen how the country, equally frayed and energized over the election, will react. But perhaps a little weirdness—and one long nap—is just what everyone needs.
Executive Creative Director: Rick Utzinger
Creative Director: Joanne Torres
Creative Director: Joe Johnson
Lead Writer: Mike Behrends
Art Director: Chris Berry
Group Planning Director: Adam Chorney
Head of Integrated Production: Pat Sidoti
Senior Producer: Erin Kirby
Director of Business Affairs: Brendan Lawrence
Business Affairs Manager: Mona Morris
Group Account Director: Chris Campbell
Account Supervisor: Sam Tuttle
Traffic Manager: Heather Lundgren
Director of Digital & Social: Greg Swan
Social Strategy Supervisor: Mara Keller
Social Strategist: Nick Massahos
Senior Developer: Kla Haeck
Social Media Agency: Moxie
PR Agency: Edelman
Director & Editor: Collin Goodspeed
Executive Producer: Erin Simle, Charm School
DP: Steve Speers
Line Producer: Kristin Langerud
Colorist: Sal Malfitano
Color Assistant: Tom Tomlinson
Producer: Serena Bove, Nice Shoes
Visual Effects Online: Pete Olson
VFX Executive Producer: Amanda Tibbits, Volt
Mix Engineer: Dan Jensen
Mix Executive Producer: Annie Sparrows, SisterBoss
Music: Christopher Wray, In House Music + Sound