Peter Kafka

Recent Posts by Peter Kafka

Sarah Silverman Makes a Denny's Web Ad You May Not Want to Watch While You’re Eating

Here’s some more “branded entertainment”–Web video shorthand for “thing we made once a marketer gave us some money in exchange for featuring their brand”–from IAC and Ben Silverman’s Electus Studio. This one’s an interview series with comedians, sponsored by Denny’s, shot in a “live, working Denny’s restaurant.”

It’s good, too. The ads feature David Koechner, whom you’ve seen in a million things, like “Anchorman” and in a semi-recurring role in the “The Office”, and he’s funny and smart. Today’s installment has him chatting up Sarah Silverman, and she’s great as well.

I also like the fact that save for a post-roll at the end, the video has nothing to do with Denny’s, other than its location–there’s not even a Moons Over My Hammy reference, which seems very hard to resist.

Since the stuff preceding the mini-ad is funny and entertaining, this makes me feel vaguely warm and positive about Dennys.

Except for two words that Silverman uses right around the 3:08 mark here–those make me uncomfortable and not hungry at all.

Just to be clear: I like vulgar potty humor.* A lot! It’s just that if I ran “one of America’s largest full-service family restaurant chains, currently operating more than 1,600 franchised, licensed and company-owned restaurants,” I think I’d be a tad bit squeamish about associating my brand with that part of the body and/or that affliction.

Still! I’m writing about it now, and showing you the clip, so perhaps this is exactly what Denny’s and Electus had in mind. (Really?)

*And I’m pro-Silverman in general. I bet if I’d seen her TED presentation last year, I’d have thought it was great.


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I think the NSA has a job to do and we need the NSA. But as (physicist) Robert Oppenheimer said, “When you see something that is technically sweet, you go ahead and do it and argue about what to do about it only after you’ve had your technical success. That is the way it was with the atomic bomb.”

— Phil Zimmerman, PGP inventor and Silent Circle co-founder, in an interview with Om Malik