A Game Of Chicken

Well, OK, Chick-Fil-A is having some medieval-themed “Date Knight” event. This event encourages sons to take their mothers out to Chick-Fil-A. It appears to be something to encourage family bonding via a kind of knights-and-damsels themed event.

OK, so look I’m not going to bring up Chick-Fil-A’s anti-gay issues, though I can criticize that. I could critique their food, but let’s face it they never claimed to be healthy. Date Knight isn’t a half-bad core idea, encouraging some fun family connections.

Except, as noted in this rant at i09 it’s incredibly creepy.

In fact one of the creepiest things about it is also a prime example of why you need Geeks On Staff to evaluate your cultural impact and choices. You need people who dig deep into culture-focused, technology-enabled culture.  You need people aware of far-flung memes and trends.

Because when you just had an event where son’s take their mom’s on dates, which already sounds a bit weird-incestuous. Then you give it a medieval theme.

Which clearly shows your marketing department didn’t have one person in it who raised their hands and noted that someone has just thrown in incest and medievalism in a time where Game Of Thrones is a huge hit.

Yes. Game of Thrones’ medieval drama is ragingly popular, Peter Dinklage borders on deification, it’s major characters include an incestuous pairing and their insane offspring, and there’s hideous family pathology. Everyone knows about it and has heard of it. So let’s go throw in a weird son-mother vibe on top of a medieval theme and just go for it . . .

What, they couldn’t working some torture, warfare, and an extremely brilliant dwarf while you’re at it? Could Chick-Fil-A have just gone all the way to completely embarrass themselves? Do they realized they opened a giant canister of Lannister and dumped it on themselves?

As soon as I heard of this, that rocketed into my mind. Incest and medievalism at Chick-Fil-A sounds like someone was deliberately creating a joke.

Of course when I saw the io9 article it confirmed I wasn’t the only one thinking about it.  It’s easy to look at this and see A Game of Chicken.  I can see this idea spreading far and wide and being embarassing.

Sure, this may blow over. I’m not sure it may happen (but if I can’t resist jokes . . .).  I’m not sure they’re thinking about the possible repercussions. The idea is a bit weird anyway which may set people off before they start making the GoT comparison. I just wouldn’t want to take the chance of such embarrassing comparisons to dovetail an already controversial company’s reputation with the blood-death-sex-drama of Game of Thrones.

This is why, once again, we need Geeks in marketing. To prevent potential embarrassments. To stop things like Snowballimus Prime and Chocwave.

To prevent me from creating a gif reading “Chicken is coming . . .” no, I’ll resist.

– Steven Savage

Steven Savage is a Geek 2.0 writer, speaker, blogger, and job coach.  He blogs on careers athttp://www.fantopro.com/, nerd and geek culture at http://www.nerdcaliber.com/, and does a site of creative tools at http://www.seventhsanctum.com/. He can be reached at https://www.stevensavage.com/.