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An Open Letter to Applebee's (1 Viewer)


Senior Member
To Whom It May Concern at Applebee’s International, Inc.:

It’s time to stop. You’ve gone too far, and there’s no going back.
I realize that Applebee’s is one of the most successful casual dining restaurants in the U.S. and that millions of Americans enjoy your “consistently good food, reasonable prices and quality service in a neighborhood setting.” But your marketing team has ruined you.

For an incredibly long time, you ran an ad campaign that featured many popular songs with original “Applebee’s” lyrics. Gems like “Take This Steak and Top It,” “Simply Irresistibowl” and “Do You Love Three (Now at Applebee’s)” successfully defiled the greats of yesteryear. Your marketing ideas in the past gave birth to the most-hated commercials in America.

Apparently, it no longer mattered whether we ate “good in the neighborhood,” as long we understood – through catchy songs other people wrote – that your restaurant chain now served steak and shrimp combos and three-course meal deals. I’m sure the Contours are proud. And so are Robert Palmer and David Allan Coe.

Obviously, Applebee’s, the above was sarcasm. Those musicians and singers are talented and should not be proud of their songs contributing to the product of your bad marketing decisions. I thought your ad campaigns couldn’t get any worse.

I was wrong.

Notice how I put that phrase in its own separate paragraph. That was for dramatic effect because there is no other way to exemplify how bad your latest campaign really is. A “spokesapple,” you call it. Voiced by Wanda Sykes. An apple.

Voiced by Wanda Sykes.

Your new creative advertising agency came up with that idea for you, and you accepted. You listened to a young professional while he furiously waved around a laser pointer and flew through PowerPoint slides full of animations and sound effects. Inspirational music played in the background while he suggested that your company, whose name contains the word “apple,” use an apple in its commercials. This man has a college degree.

He probably slammed a delicious red apple on the boardroom table and ended his speech with something like “Applebee’s. Let’s revive the name, people. Let’s – let’s get it together.” And then he bowed at the end of his inflated presentation while a couple of corporate assholes from your company clapped.

Then came the big decision: Who would voice this spokesapple? Did you seek out Wanda Sykes? Did she try out for the part? I am baffled by this decision.

You missed the boat, it’s too little too late, and other clichés of that nature. Wanda Sykes was probably edgy and humorous at one time, but she has never been the voice of the demographic that dines in your eateries.

You’ve attempted to target a non-existent market with a fad that died four years ago. You’ve essentially referenced Will Smith’s rap music to appeal to teenagers at an anti-drug seminar in 2007. You’ve asked your customers to get “jiggy with it,” and it’s not going to work.

Applebee’s, get it together. I’ve lost faith in this company over the years, and I don’t believe an insignificant letter will change your ways. But I know that Applebee’s believes in conveying its message through the art of song.
And that’s what I’ll do now.

It’s set to the tune of “Hey There Delilah” by the Plain White T’s, because that song has not been publicized enough.


I’ll have the chicken
And a lukewarm pint of beer
While your food is kind of bland
You have a gimmick every year
Yes you do.
But now the apple’s something new
I am confused

You hired Wanda
‘Cause you think she’s hip and funny
For that younger demographic
Current like the 1920s
Yes she is
In truth, the ad’s a total miss
May I assist?

Ooh marketing is hard
Ooh marketing is hard
Ooh marketing is hard
Ooh marketing is hard
Here at Applebee’s

Hey there Miss Wanda
I know times are getting hard
But Applebee’s is not the answer
Their commercials are retarded
Run away
Come back to TV another way
But not today

I’ve got an idea
For the folks at Applebee’s
Try to make your food taste better
Or learn to make a cocktail please
So I could
Get drunk until your food is good
Yes I would

Ooh give me some Everclear
Ooh or something with absinthe
Ooh make this a priority
Ooh to make me like your food

A decent steak seems pretty hard
But they’ve got books and TV stars
They’ll show you that all meat is not the same
My friends and I make fun of you
Because you’re terrible it’s true
Every time I eat there I complain
Applebee’s I promise you
That by the time you read this through
Another piece of meat will be in flames
And you’re to blame

I’m really sorry
Can’t go on but don’t you miss me
I’ve forgotten you already
As I eat my food at Chili’s
I just know
Applebee’s will finally close
And all your cooks will be alone
Watching Food Network TV shows
And I will go:

Ooh Applebee’s is gone
Ooh Applebee’s is gone
Ooh Applebee’s is gone
Ooh Applebee’s is gone
Burger King is next.
Last edited:

Dr. Malone

Goddam hilarious. You hit this one right on. Great use of the form you chose.
I hate Applebee's for the most part. And that new Wanda Sykes ad really freaked me out. The first time I heard it, I sat staring at the TV, thinking is that Wanda Sykes? What the hell?
And I'll that plugging in Talladega Nights was just painful. Funny only because it showed how pathetic the restaurant really is.
Good stuff.

Lost in Some Story

Senior Member
That was brilliant.

The first part was clever and I grinned through the whole thing, but the song...

Holy shit. You're going to make me go start watching TV just so I can find this ad.

I was wrong.

Notice how I put that phrase in its own separate paragraph. That was for dramatic effect because there is no other way to exemplify how bad your latest campaign really is. A “spokesapple,” you call it. Voiced by Wanda Sykes. An apple.
This is going to keep me laughing for a long time. Well written. Thanks for posting.



Senior Member
Coming from the UK, I dont even know what Applebee's is like. But this mad me laugh. I go it. Well written.

Dr. Malone

Last night on American Dad.

"We need to go to a place filled with the most pathetic, despesperate, wastes of life. Like Appleebee's, but with a bar. Oh wait, Appleebee's has a bar. We need to go to Appleebee's."

I thought that was funny since I watched it right after reading this.


Senior Member
Bravo! This is great, and I couldn't agree more. The spokesapple is horrid. I'm sure Applebee's gets many pieces of complaint mail, but this is so well-written, original, articulate, and clever, how could they ignore it? Please send it to them and let us know how they respond.


[[Disclaimer for the Applebee's legal team: The views represented in this thread are not necessarily those of the staff of WF or any of its associates although if they were that would probably be understandable. Do you eat there...DO YOU?]]

I haven't seen the ad although I've heard it from the other room and I've heard my husband say, "What the...?"

The letter was funny. The song is hysterical.


Senior Member
I've never eaten at Applebee's. If I have a choice in the matter I never will.

I simply don't get these new ads of theirs. How clever--a "talking" apple. It could work, that is if Wanda "Apple" Sykes actually said something about the food and it looked good.

As I remember, in the first of the new ads, the majority is spent telling someone on a park bench to stop texting and actually spend time in person with his friends. That's fine as a PSA. This is an advertisement for a restaurant though. Restaurants aren't necessarily bad hang-outs, but don't they make money from selling food? There is rarely even a mention of their profit-maker though. And what I have seen doesn't look very good. That's just my opinion though. Like I said before, I just don't get these new ads. They won't get me inside Applebee's.

Stephen, I appreciate your letter and I fully agree. Good job. Sorry I ranted on.