Who thought a Fancy Feast-inspired restaurant was a good idea?
Fancy Feast, it’s not just for cats anymore (hooray?).
The Nestle (NESAF) -owned cat food brand has announced that it will be opening a limited pop-up restaurant in New York City from August 11-12. Gatto Bianco, which means “white cat,” is inspired by Fancy Feast’s new “Medleys” cat food line, which feature dishes such as “Beef Ragú Recipe With Tomatoes & Pasta in a Savory Sauce,” for the extra finicky cat in your life.
Gatto Bianco will be located between Manhattan’s Far West Village and the Meatpacking District, and the experience is limited to a total of 16 guests and the food will be compliments of the house. A reservation will be required.
Why Did This Happen?
But, like, who thought this was a good idea?
To be fair, these meals are, again, designed for human consumption, and were curated by Fancy Feast’s in-house chef, Amanda Hassner, and New York restaurateur Cesare Casella.
We’re reasonably certain the food won’t come in a can, and it won’t make a disquieting “plop” sound when placed on your plate.
No offense to Fancy Feast or all of the wonderful felines in the world, but isn’t the mere association with the words “cat food” enough to turn most people off? Have you ever smelled a can of wet cat food? It’s usually enough to ruin one’s appetite for a while.
But this is what happens when no one tells a brand no.
It’s one thing for brands to just get silly on April’s Fools Day, like when Hellman’s foisted the idea of Butterfinger Mayo onto all of us. We expect that sort of thing these days.
But every so often a promotion or a new product line that should have been shot down in the pitch room will actually make it out into the real world, horrifying us all in the process.
Some of these ideas are pretty clearly designed to get a rise out of social media, but with other misbegotten ideas, you have to consider the possibility that someone, somewhere earnestly believed in the concept.
When Brands Go Out On a Limb
If the idea of a Fancy Feast-inspired restaurant has whetted your appetite for this sort of thing, here’s a few more such ideas for you to ponder with wonderment and confusion.
Adobe Launches A Questionable Clothing Line
For reasons unclear, five years ago Adobe (ADBE) – Get Adobe Inc. Report launched its own clothing line. Because when you think of the term “Photoshop software,” you think high fashion. Clearly.
But for Adobe Stock Apparel, its initial voyage into the apparel industry, the company raided its royalty-free image service called Adobe Stock. The result were some absolutely absurd t-shirts bearing well-known images such as “Laughing woman eating health vegetable salad” and “Happy office workers pointing to a blank sign.”
Burger King Will Put A Burger On Anything
As The Street’s Colette Bennett recently put it, sometimes fast food innovation goes too far. This offering from Burger King Germany’s promised to “come up with its craziest, most stomach-turning offerings yet.”
If you think a burger is too simple and delicious to screw up, Burger King Germany (QSR) – Get Restaurant Brands International Inc. Report may challenge that theory. How does “a Whopper topped with currywurst and a fried herring, another with a bratwurst and a nougat creme, and a third that is smeared with a generous helping of marmalade” sound?
To be fair here, this promotion was targeted at pregnant people, who often have rather strange hankerings, and any pregnant person who showed up the chain’s Mother’s Day promotion got to eat for free.
Colgate Heads To The Kitchen
Iffy brand ideas existed long before social media. Back in 1982, well before the majority of the population had even heard of the internet, the toothpaste company Colgate (CL) – Get Colgate-Palmolive Company Report introduced Colgate Kitchen Entrees, a line of frozen food products.
The thinking was that because Colgate is so well associated with taking food off your teeth, consumers were already primed to associate them with meal time.
But the product was a bomb, and the company experienced a steep decline in its profits.
We can’t recount brand flops without including the master.
In 1982, Coke decided to compete with Pepsi and the booming diet soda market by fixing what was decidedly not broken. The company’s New Coke was formulated to taste more like Pepsi. But the thing is, if a person wanted to drink Pepsi….they could just buy a Pepsi. Instead, Coke fans were treated with a far too sweet beverage they wanted no part of, and the company received more than 40,000 letters and phone calls demanding this abomination be undone. As a result, the company temporarily lost market share.
The New Coke was such a disaster that the original formula was brought back within months, and the phrase “New Coke” has become synonymous with “bad idea.”
Kendall Jenner Heals The World’s Problems Via Pepsi
The single most-wrong headed brand decision of the ‘10s was Kendall Jenner fixing all of America’s intractable social divisions by…buying a police officer Pepsi (PPSTF) .
This happened. Never forget that this happened.