Arby’s Is Airing 13 Straight Hours of Smoked Brisket on TV

A blog about business and economics.
May 23 2014 5:56 PM

Arby’s Is Airing 13 Straight Hours of Smoked Brisket on Television

108197141-sign-is-displayed-outside-of-an-arbys-restaurant-on
Get ready for the main brisket event.

Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

Forget the Yule Log. How would you like to see 13 straight hours of meat on film? If that sounds up your alley, then Arby's has you covered, thanks to a TV ad it will be airing this weekend to promote a new sandwich mounded with brisket cooked for—you guessed it—13 hours. The New York Times reports that the commercial is free of talking and consists of a single take of the brisket cooking away through the glass window of a smoker.

The promotion is expected to earn Arby's a spot in the Guinness Book of World Records and blow past the existing entry for longest television commercial—a paltry 60-minute affair put on by Nivea in 2011.* The entire effort will cost about $250,000, according to the Times, which is a fraction of the $94.7 million Arby's spent on U.S. advertising in 2013. All in all, the stunt sounds like a pretty good deal for Arby's, especially if it takes off on social media as the company hopes. (We realize we are part of the problem. But it's Friday. Would you really rather be reading about Piketty?)

Arby's has arranged for the commercial to air on a single television station in Duluth, Minnesota. The action starts at 1 p.m. Central time on Saturday and ends at 2 a.m. CT on Sunday, with an Arby's exec removing the brisket from its smoker and slicing the meat for a sandwich. It will also play in a onetime livestream of the event from 9 a.m. until 10 p.m. Eastern on Wednesday. The takeaway is that if you live in Duluth and come home drunk and hungry on Saturday night, you'll have a big hunk of meat to stare at.

Advertisement

*Correction, May 27, 2014: This post originally misspelled the title of the Guinness Book of World Records.

Alison Griswold is a Slate staff writer covering business and economics.

 

TODAY IN SLATE

Foreigners

More Than Scottish Pride

Scotland’s referendum isn’t about nationalism. It’s about a system that failed, and a new generation looking to take a chance on itself. 

What Charles Barkley Gets Wrong About Corporal Punishment and Black Culture

Why Greenland’s “Dark Snow” Should Worry You

Three Talented Actresses in Three Terrible New Shows

Why Do Some People See the Virgin Mary in Grilled Cheese?

The science that explains the human need to find meaning in coincidences.

Jurisprudence

Happy Constitution Day!

Too bad it’s almost certainly unconstitutional.

Is It Worth Paying Full Price for the iPhone 6 to Keep Your Unlimited Data Plan? We Crunch the Numbers.

What to Do if You Literally Get a Bug in Your Ear

  News & Politics
Weigel
Sept. 16 2014 7:03 PM Kansas Secretary of State Loses Battle to Protect Senator From Tough Race
  Business
Moneybox
Sept. 16 2014 4:16 PM The iPhone 6 Marks a Fresh Chance for Wireless Carriers to Kill Your Unlimited Data
  Life
The Eye
Sept. 16 2014 12:20 PM These Outdoor Cat Shelters Have More Style Than the Average Home
  Double X
The XX Factor
Sept. 15 2014 3:31 PM My Year As an Abortion Doula
  Slate Plus
Slate Plus Video
Sept. 16 2014 2:06 PM A Farewell From Emily Bazelon The former senior editor talks about her very first Slate pitch and says goodbye to the magazine.
  Arts
Brow Beat
Sept. 16 2014 8:43 PM This 17-Minute Tribute to David Fincher Is the Perfect Preparation for Gone Girl
  Technology
Future Tense
Sept. 16 2014 6:40 PM This iPhone 6 Feature Will Change Weather Forecasting
  Health & Science
Medical Examiner
Sept. 16 2014 11:46 PM The Scariest Campfire Story More horrifying than bears, snakes, or hook-handed killers.
  Sports
Sports Nut
Sept. 15 2014 9:05 PM Giving Up on Goodell How the NFL lost the trust of its most loyal reporters.