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For all the millions that are spent on market research, branding, and advertising, there's just something priceless about the power of a truly awful product

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Bad Ideas in Menu Nomenclature

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For all the millions that are spent on market research, branding, and advertising, there's just something priceless about the power of a truly awful product name that reaches the marketplace. One of my favorites from past years: The Mitsubishi Mirage, a car whose very name promised illusion, a lack of substance, the torment of an automotive oasis that would fade away just when it seemed near.

There's nothing inherently wrong about Taco Bell or Kentucky Fried Chicken as brands. Though, as our Mike Seely explored, the combination of the two may be toxic. Living near that LQA drive-through, I'm always amazed that it does steady business, considering that Uptown stalwarts like Dick's, Kidd Valley, Pagliacci, and Tup Tim Thai are close, not much more expensive, and one thousand times better.

And yet. Taco Bell's latest menu addition sounds so horrifying, is so ill-named, that it makes me wonder what else the chain is planning to add to its menu. After the jump, the most unappetizingly named menu item in Seattle...

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Seriously? Volcano Nachos? Which are part of the new Volcano Menu? Do diners really want to have that image in their minds when ordering and eating? An uncontrollable surge of molten hot volcanic matter surging up from the bowels of the Earth? One that leaves devastation and agony in its wake? As the stand-up comics used to say in the '80s, Who was the advertising genius who came up with that one?

To the corporate parent of Taco Bell-KFC, Yum! Brands, let us offer a few helpful suggestions as to menu names that should be avoided. (This also applies to its Pizza Hut and Long John Silver's franchises.)

  • The Projectile Burrito
  • The Big Gulp and Yawn-sized soda
  • Hurl-on-a-Stick Fish Sticks
  • The Geyser Sundae
  • Ebola Fries
  • The Gut Buster Burger
  • The Nacho Eruption! Platter
  • Hemorrhagic Tater Tots
  • Acai Berry Shake With Colon-Cleansing Power
 
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