I love Sonic. Every time their ads come on TV, I find myself drooling at the unique food and drink combinations advertised as part of their extensive menu. Fresh fruit limeades? Tater tots with cheese? Sandwiches served on Texas Toast? Delicious. Sign me up.
There’s just one problem with my “loving” Sonic: I’ve never actually eaten at one. In fact, I swear to you, I don’t think I’ve ever actually even SEEN a Sonic. For me, they are the Abominable Snowman of the fast food world – each passing glimpse or rumor I hear tempts me to pursue this elusive fast food beast. But no matter how much grainy Sonic video footage I see or reports I receive of where the nearest Sonic is, I never actually get close enough to one for it to be in my grasp.
No big deal right? There are hundreds, if not thousands of regional chains that I have never even heard of, that I’m also missing out on. But here’s the difference: THOSE CHAINS ARE NOT ADVERTISING ON NATIONAL TV. Each and every Sonic ad I see on TV is like a miniature punch to the balls from a hyper active 4 year old. It’s as if Sonic corporation themselves are saying to me, “Hey Jon, doesn’t this look good? It does, doesn’t it? Well good luck finding one! Hahahahaha.”
How dare you Sonic. And for those who think I am a Johnny Come Lately to the Sonic curiousity/anger train, quite the contrary. This has been a serious issue for me since about age 12. I grew up in Vermont, about 90 minutes from the Canadian border, and remember seeing Sonic ads as a kid. All through my childhood, I assumed Sonic was a Canadian chain. How else to explain the fact that I always saw their ads but had never actually been to one?
So where are these elusive Sonics? Well a map from their website shows they are heavily concentrated in the South and Southwest.
Notice anything about the map that jumps out? How about the fact that there are ZERO Sonic’s, even to this day, anywhere in New England or New York? WTF Sonic? Why are you advertising in New York or New England if you don’t have any stores there? Even now, living in Washington, DC, I am bombarded with your ads, but lacking a car to get far enough out to the suburbs, I STILL haven’t even been able to try Sonic.
Trust me, my desire to try Sonic is not for a lack of effort. In 2003, my girlfriend at the time and I drove cross country. From New York to Chicago to Kansas City then to Los Angeles. Sonic was very much top of mind on that trip – if I had noticed one anywhere near a meal time, I planned on being all over it. Surely on a cross country drive I stumbled across a Sonic while hungry right? Well, on the leg of the trip from Saratoga to Chicago, no Sonics.
From Chicago to Kansas City, there are 7 Sonic’s, mostly concentrated around KC. But did I manage to see any of them? Nope.
Kansas City to the Grand Canyon turns out to be a treasure trove of Sonics, but once again, I noticed none.
So yeah. 10 years of tempting ads, a cross country drive and still no Sonic for me. And for those of you wondering, yes, I did take the time to plug the results from the Sonic store locater into Mapquest. Um, yeah, because I’m just THAT into bitching about Sonic. You have no idea the mental anguish this has caused me over the years. I want to roll into a Sonic and order every single item on the menu, stuff my face, and roll up to the window to order more.
Sonic! Why must you torture me so? When you started advertising your tater tots with chili and cheese, it was if every time I turned on the television I was being waterboarded by Sonic. Have you no sense of decency Sonic? Isn’t showing these ads to people who can’t find a Sonic a blatant violation of the Geneva Convention against torture? Doesn’t the constitution prevent cruel and unusual punishment?
To make things worse, your witty commercials featuring improv-ed banter between two people in a car are actually GOOD ads! Arrgggggggh! Good ads, delicious menu and I still haven’t been able to try you!
Here’s the deal Sonic: I’m not asking you to stop making delicious burgers or asking your food scientists to stop making interesting creations. Goodness no. From all appearances, you are doing the Lord’s work over there. But please, there are tens of thousands of people out there just like me, and I am speaking on their behalf, as their voice: STOP RUNNING NATIONAL ADS. Until there is a Sonic readily available to each and every person, north, south, east and west, it is simply un-American for you to torture people by running commercials in regions where there are no Sonics.
So Sonic, unless you want to send a professional car service to take me the 30 or 40 miles to the closest Sonic to me in Virginia, I beg of you: end the torture. END THE TORTURE NOW. Stop running national ads, at least on a temporary basis, until I get a chance to finally sample your delicious menu.
Committee to End National Sonic Advertising Until Eick Has Been to One (CENSA UEHBO)