Cabbages & Kings

"The time has come," the walrus said, "to talk of many things; of shoes and ships and sealing wax and cabbages and kings."

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Location: Brampton, Ontario, Canada

Sunday, April 23, 2006

Small Medium at Large

No, I'm not telling the joke about the homicidal midget fortune-teller. I've got another story to tell.
I was at work today and decided that I wanted pizza for lunch. I called the place I usually order from and after taking my order, the pizza switchboard operator made a tragic discovery. The store closest to where I work (ie the one that would make my pizza) wouldn't have a delivery driver until 5:00. They couldn't bring me my pizza. Yes, I had an issue with this, but that's another story.
I called Domino's instead. They had a driver, so the plan was working so far. I ordered my pizza and while waiting for it to arrive I experienced a rare lull in activity at work. Nary a ring from my phone for almost an hour.
The pizza arrived and the phone rang.
And rang.
And rang.
And rang.
The phone continued to ring until ten minutes after my pizza had reached room temperature. But that's another story.
(My life is full of other stories, yet these are the ones I tell.)
The actual point I making my meandering way towards came about during my phone call with Domino's. I asked for a small pizza. The Domino's phone jockey told me that the smallest size they have is medium. Think about that for a moment.
I didn't really feel like getting into it with him today so I let it slide, but I had a similar experience a couple of years ago in the Burger King drive through. I was ordering breakfast and wished to include in my morning repast a small order of hash browns. The kid in the squawking metal box snootily informed me that there are only two sizes: medium and large.
His attitude pissed me off (or perhaps I was just grumpy at the time, I don't recall) and I leaned out my car window and argued with squawk-box boy for a good three minutes. Cars were lining up behind me but I didn't care.
Medium is defined by the fact that it rests between small and large. That's what medium means. If your smallest size is medium, not only are you using moronically stunted crack-baby logic, but it is actually, by default, small!!!
You have two sizes. The one that isn't large...? It's SMALL!!
Look it up if you don't believe me. Pick any size dictionary you like, small, medium or large. I'm sure it'll be in there.
Yeah, yeah, I know, the market standard sizes are what they measure against and the smallest size they have is the size of a medium across the street at McDonalds, therefore they feel compelled to call it medium so as not to confuse any McCustomers who may have inadvertanly wandered into the wrong drive through.
Whatever.
That's stupid.
That's marketing by committee and there were probably lawyers involved, too, which it's flawed to begin with even before it's spoken aloud.
Consider this... If your small is the size of your competition's medium, then your customers will be so impressed with how much more "value" they get out of a small order when they buy it from you. There's an angle that doesn't require assigning randomly new definitions to words that people thought they knew the meaning of until corporate bull-speak got in the way.
They should just let me run these things and it will be so much simpler and tolerable.
Sure, I'm not an accredited marketing manager, but I fill short-notice open shifts at a security company with people who don't want to work... and I'm a playwright. It's a deadly combination.
Given enough time and inclination, I can convince anybody of anything.

3 Comments:

Blogger Gord said...

The other day I saw a commercial for a pizza place that was now offering a "Extra Large" pizza. The thing is, it sure looked a lot like a large pizza, at least the size of what a large pizza used to be about five years ago.
It reminds me of an old saying. "If a generation does not have a New Coke, it will have to create one."

Monday, April 24, 2006 1:18:00 PM  
Blogger Billp said...

You want to know the really terrible thing? The Domino's guy was right.

I just went to the Domnino's website. They do have a small. It's defined as a 10", six slice pizza. However, it's not carried at all locations. So, when he said "the smallest we have is a medium", he was right. Domino's has small pizzas, but HE couldn't sell you one.

Now, the fact that they don't offer something as seemingly common as a small pizza is another matter entirely.

As for Burger King, their website says, of french fries, that they have ALL SIZES AVAILABLE. Really? Then I'll have the Jeroboam of fries, please.

brbwm

Thursday, May 04, 2006 11:31:00 AM  
Blogger Robert said...

Bill,

Would you like to upsize your fries to a Nebuchadnezzar for an extra 20 cents?

Thursday, May 18, 2006 11:24:00 AM  

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