Jake's of Saratoga

Last weekend I found myself eating at Jake’s of Saratoga, a pizza joint that obviously welcomes families and soccer teams, and, according to their website, is a “Saratoga landmark”. I pocketed their menu, because I found it hilarious that they would feature a creepy man statue on the front.

When I mentioned this to my compatriots, they filled me in. This creepy man statue is Jake himself, and he used to be featured prominently at the Saratoga location, but has since moved to one of the other Jakes in the area. A traveling creepy man statue! What interesting marketing.

How one chooses to market oneself or their business is often a matter of personal taste, and I understand the thoughts behind this choice: Creepy Jake Statue lives at our restaurant, people love him and identify him with the restaurant–why not??  I can understand that.  I know that just because I find Jake’s statue creepy (and would expect small children to as well!) doesn’t make my opinion right.

Regardless, branding needs to be consistent, so I was surprised when I visited Jake’s website to find this little graphic (and creepy Jake statue nowhere to be found):

This rendering of Jake looks more like Mario!

I prefer this friendly and animated Jake, no matter how pixelated the image might be.  To compare:

Creepy Jake Statue dominates the front of the menu.

I guess maybe little friendly animated Jake didn’t translate well into statue form?  (And we all know statues are essential to a strong family business?)

If Jake’s were my client, I wouldn’t suggest removing the Jake statue from the restaurants.  No, I know not to mess with tradition.  But I would have recommended utilizing this valuable front of menu real estate to feature a large happy family party enjoying the food ambiance. What we want people to take home are marketing materials that say, “We have a good time and good food!”

We all know where the closest wax museums are, after all.   And if we don’t, Google does.

Lets hear from the peanut gallery, eh?

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