Orange Elephant


There is no way they haven’t rented this room for 6 days.”

That is the 1st thing I said to Barbara when we opened the door to the hotel room. There were six restaurant menus spread on the floor. You know those paper flyers folks slide under the door.

My initial thought was they were all from the exact same restaurant. Of course there is no reason for a single restaurant to slide 6 menus under the door on the same day, so they must not have rented this room for a week or so.

But this is Orlando, FL…that’s impossible.

As I looked closer at the menus, I noticed they were from 6 different restaurants, though it would take a Sherlock Holmes to really notice the differences:

• Hi Pizza
• Joe’s Pizzeria
• Pizza Express
• Pastino’s Express
• Italian Garden
• Stefano’s

Look how incredibly similar and bland this advertising is. Could they have tried any harder NOT to distinguish themselves from the competition?



























Are you kidding me? !

(Don’t worry; you don’t have to be able to actually read them to get the point.)

All six have the Exact same dimensions:

11” Long x 4.25” Wide.

On the exact same type of paper.

Even the same fonts for the most part.

What… is there some kind of FDA mandate out there? One that says your color scheme and branding must be red and green if you serve any food that contains tomatoes?

Only Steffano’s decided to live on the wild side, I mean really swing for the fence: they replaced the green with grey.


Are you freaking kidding me?

Not a single one of these guys spent 10 minutes doing a competitive analysis. How hard would it be to wake from their coma and look at what the competition is doing, then Go Where They Ain’t.

OK, I need to go lay down. This kind of stupidity keeps me up at night. Maybe I’ll go give them a free marketing workshop just so I can maintain some semblance of sanity.

How long would it take to sit down and come up with some simple things to make these menus different?

• Yellow and Blue instead of Read and Green
• Hang on the door knob instead of thrown on the floor
• 5 most popular entrees with pictures and phone number. Nothing else.
• Menu “V” shaped like a pizza slice

If you don’t want to be average, why do you insist on being normal?

It’s not hard to be the Orange Elephant, Red Fish, or Blue Horse. Just a few minutes of time and an ounce of courage.

Mark L. Fox

About admin

Mark L. Fox is a leading authority on teaching practical creative thinking techniques for business. Mark was the youngest Chief Engineer ever on the Space Shuttle program at the age of 31. He received NASA’s highest recognition of “Launch Honoree” at the age of 23. Mark has an undergraduate degree in Chemical Engineering with an MBA. Having held top management positions in Rocket Science, Aircraft Hydraulics, Engineering Services, Customer Service, Software, and e-Business, Mark has an extremely diversified background.

One Comment

  1. Maybe they are all owned by the same guy and he does not really care which place you get your pizza from just as long as it from somewhere that has red/green menus.

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