Applebee’s: Red, Not So Delicious

NEW YORK Part of what makes the comedy of Wanda Sykes so great is the expressions that give her wisecracks that little extra snark. Her role as Applebee’s new “spokesapple,” alas, is shortchanged by her voiceover-only role. In the first campaign from McCann Erickson in New York, Sykes is cast as a Red Delicious apple and she’s funny enough. In a commercial titled “Thumbs,” she playfully scolds a guy chatting with his friend using his mobile phone. Cast as the apple, she peers over his shoulder on a park bench, concluding, “Of course, it ain’t my business.” He throws the talking apple a perplexed look and asks her why she’s all up in his “business.” Reinforcing the restaurant chain’s new tagline, “Together is good,” she tells him “’cause you need to get eyeball-to-eyeball over the flavors that bring people together.” The spot ends with the voiceover, “Applebee’s. Get it together, baby.” But not before Sykes is reduced to listing all the flavorful ingredients on the menu as the spot turns to close-up food footage. The Emmy Award-winning comedian is just too funny to be kept behind the camera and the jokes way too thin and tempered to fully leverage her razor-sharp bite.