The Middle-Aged Mascot That Tanked a Fast-Food Chain

Nothing gets my appetite up like an allusion to a vasectomy
The Middle-Aged Mascot That Tanked a Fast-Food Chain

If youve never heard of the fast-food chain Rax Roast Beef, thats completely unsurprising. If you manage to lose a market battle to Arbys, a fast-food chain thats been clinging to relevance on the strength of curly fries alone for decades now, youre probably earning the ink out of historys pen. Sure, monopolies are bad for the consumer, but when it comes to places to get a roast beef sandwich thats going to dent a toilet bowl, we dont need a wealth of options. 

Unlike a chain that faded into obscurity out of lack of interest, however, Rax does have a definitive death knell that people can point to: an incredibly strange advertising campaign featuring the spokesmascot, Mr. Delicious. Mr. Delicious was not, as you might think, some sort of cannibalistic but weirdly jolly cow, or a floating mouth licking his lips. Unsettling, both, but par for the course. Mr. Delicious was instead, a middle-aged man who seemed to be going through personal crisis.

Enjoy his debut below — a commercial in which he introduces himself, and never mentions a single menu item or the general cuisine provided at Rax, all with the delivery of a relatives sad husband you get stuck next to at a wedding.

Its remarkable how weird this is, only to completely not register on your brain. When the commercial ends, it feels like you fell asleep for 29 seconds. Not the ideal effect. 

Heres another Mr. D special, in which he sells the great value available at Rax by explaining that he, himself, benefits from it because he is having financial problems. A fun enough gag maybe on its face, but when you get to the meat (pun unavoidable) of a man looking for the most filling meal he can buy due to a compromising money situation, it gets a little real and sad. And thats before you even remember hes eating fast-food roast beef.

Third times the charm, right? Well, unless your trump card was a cartoon with a receding hairline talking about how moving in his car seat is tough because of a recent surgery. Im not even embellishing here, thats just what hes talking about.

A year later, Rax filed for bankruptcy, which almost feels like a case of self-fulfilling prophecy, as thats exactly what would happen to any restaurant chain that Mr. Delicious got lucky enough to land a plum gig as a mascot for. 

Weirdly, I do think that this campaign may have just been ahead of its time. It definitely wouldnt ever make anyone hungry, but it would have probably at least been beloved by a slice of the internet population if it had debuted today. Just another unfortunate crumble of the cookie for Mr. Delicious. Rax does, in fact, still have five operating locations in Ohio, but thats basically the same as being out of business.

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