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  • 07.26.12

Applebee’s Gets Into the Inflatable Decoy Business

Applebee’s offers a very 1980s sitcom-style solution to those afternoons when you absolutely must get out of the office for lunch: decoys.

Applebee’s Gets Into the Inflatable Decoy Business

There’s long been a quiet but lucrative ancillary market for, um, purpose-built inflatable dolls: as silent passengers of highway carpool lanes. Now, with tongue firmly in cheek, Applebee’s is introducing its own line of inflatable platonic friends so that hungry office drones may use them as decoys while they head out to lunch.

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The company’s dedicated website for its Lunch Decoys illustrates the concept of these ostensible saviors of midday meals, which look like lumpy balloon animals in drawn-on clothes and, in at least one case, pervy mustaches. They are meant to be positioned at your desk, perhaps with fingers scotch taped to the keyboard, so that you can pull a Ferris Bueller on your unsuspecting parents boss. Lest you think that Applebee’s is just touting the idea as a total goof, there’s an Amazon link on the site where you can purchase the decoy for $6.99. And if you do find yourself purchasing a Lunch Decoy, perhaps now’s the time to start polishing up that résumé. The decoy and all the recent Applebee’s ads you’re seeing were created by the chain’s new agency, Crispin Porter + Bogusky.

Below, watch a new ad for Applebee’s that shows off the power of the decoy.

About the author

Joe Berkowitz is a writer and staff editor at Fast Company. His next book, Away with Words, is available June 13th from Harper Perennial.

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