March 10, 2011


I got hungry while running errands today and decided to grab a meal at Wendy’s. My meal came with Wendy’s new “Natural-Cut Fries with Sea Salt.” The fries are quite good. I Wendy’s adhaven’t done a direct comparison with other fries, so I’m not going to say they’re better that McDonald’s’ or anyone else’s fries, but I certainly had no complaints. (I was reading The New Yorker while I was eating, so I was technically not paying close attention to the fries.)

Presumably, the justification for the word “natural” is the fact that the skins are not removed from the potatoes before they’re fried. That’s all well and good, but how does Wendy’s justify “Natural-Cut”? Cutting a potato is in no way ”natural,” whether or not the skins are first removed.

The word “natural” is very evocative, of course, but “natural-cut” simply doesn’t make sense. “Natural fries” doesn’t make sense either. I have a good deal of sympathy for Wendy’s’ ad agency; I really can’t come up with a catchy name for the new fries. I want to call them “peeled fries,” but, of course, that could refer to unpeeled potatoes cut and fried, but it could also refer to potatoes with skins removed that are cut and fried.

Advertising is harder than it looks.

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