Friday, April 18, 2014

Gabriel Marquez Garcia. A memory.

Years ago my partner Craig and I had enjoyed an amazing string of advertising success in the fast-food category.

For a fast-feeder called El Pollo Cubano, we created and introduced the chain's first fish sandwich. We named it after El Capitan himself, Fidel Castro, and called it the "Fidel o' Fish." Not only did that effort win us gold from a variety of shows, we each received a box of Corona Corona cigars from the great man.

Some years later, we introduced the chain's Korean BBQ sandwich with a tribute to Kim Jung Il. That effort was launched with the line "The Kim Jung. The Il-est Korean Barbecue Sandwich." It won us award after award and a free pass anytime we wanted to visit Pyongyang.

The next meal we introduced for El Pollo Cubano was their Mexican Taco sandwich. Craig came into the office with one of his typical brainstorms.

Without a word he started working the phones. He was bent on getting through to Gabriel Marquez Garcia. With the stamina of a seasoned marathoner, he got through after a few hours.

"Yes, your eminence," I heard Craig say, "we want to promote El Pollo Cubano's new Mexican Taco sandwich in your honor."

Craig held onto the blower and withstood an onslaught of rapid-fire Spanish. Fortunately, Craig's high-school knowledge of that language carried the day.

"It's a simple line, Gabe," I heard him say. "100 Years of Salsa-tude."

I heard through the phone the old man chortle, then guffaw, and then issue a vociferous "si, si!"

We ran it up the flagpole with the client at El Pollo Cubano, and before long, we had yet another hit on our hands.

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