finger pointing

Sure it may be in a conservative town, but Salt Lake City agency Love Communications has stuck its finger in the eye of convention with a new slogan for casual-dining chain Wingers. And it’s not hard to tell which finger.

A rebranding effort for the 30-unit Salt Lake City-based chain carries the slightly off-color line “Give hunger the bird,” and the sauce used on the buffalo wings is now called “Freakin Amazin’ Sauce.” Five new TV spots include one with a man who grabs his soiled shirt from his wife so he can suck out the spilled sauce before she washes it. Another features a guy who coats his shirt with leftover sauce before leaving a Wingers restaurant, presumably so he can do likewise.

“Before we got the account in June, they were just using beauty shots of the food,” said John Youngren, Love’s account services director. “We took a leap of faith.”

While he acknowledged that some people have raised a fuss, Youngren added that focus groups and managers from the chain love the new direction. He even proudly showed it to his mother, who gave him another type of finger: a thumbs-up.

“Utah is a lot hipper than people think,” Youngren said.