569: Put a Bow on It

569: Put a Bow on It

Oct 9, 2015
This week we go into the room at the headquarters of fast food chain Hardee's with the people who decided that this burger with beef, hot dogs, and chips is what America should be eating. We'll hear the story of how they sold that burger and other instances where how you tell the story is more important than the literal facts.
  • Ira talks about the phenomenon of weird food mashups that fast food companies started selling in the last five years – things like the pizza with hot dogs on the crust that Pizza Hut made or the Hardee's burger with a cheesesteak as the topping on the burger. Ira explains that there is something about these foods that he's been wondering about. There must be a group of people who pitch ideas for new foods and then decide which ones they're actually going to make. What is like to be in that room? (6 minutes)

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  • Producer Zoe Chace gets into the room that Ira has been wondering about. Specifically, the headquarters of fast food chain Hardee's. They've whittled down a list of hundreds of ideas to a dozen sandwiches that they've made and are trying out. Zoe explains how they decide which ones are actually going to make it to market.

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  • Writer and musician Ahamefule Oluo has been puzzling out one story for a lot of his life. It's the story of a stranger, who also, is his dad. (23 minutes)

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  • As we were putting together this week's show, we thought back to the guy in Act One who was in charge of marketing when Jack in the Box went through an E. Coli crisis. Because there's another company, Volkswagen, who's dealing with a huge PR crisis. And we wondered, what should the next VW ad be? What could they possibly say to make people trust them again? (13 minutes)

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