Cincinnati Fish Fry Culture is cancelled for this year. There will be no more Codfather and his Holy Haddock at Queen of Peace in Kentucky, no more De Sales Slammer sandwich at St. Francis De Sales in East Walnut hills. And finally there will be no more Magnificod, at St. Williams in Price Hill. The last one is my favorite – it’s a take on the Magnificat, the latin word for the Canticle of Mary which proclaims, “My soul magnifies the Lord.”
Of the over 200 Lenten fish frys, only three – that’s right only three – brand their sandwiches religiously – the Holy Haddock , Magnificod, and the De Sales Slammer. And, as a marketing person, I think there’s a tremendous branding opportunity they’re all missing. As secular as our fish fry culture is, it’s at least based on the Christian Lenten Fast. What does Marketing 101 tell you to do in a flooded market like our fish frys– – DIFFERENTIATE your product. And what’s one of the best and most fun ways to do that – branding! Come on – we are a P & G marketing town!
OMG the possibilities are endless – starting with the type of fish used. What about Golgatha Grouper, named after the place where Jesus was crucified. And to reference the miracles what about Walk-on- Water Whiting (or Whaling Women of Jerusalem Whiting if you want to reference the stations of the cross). How about St. Paul’s Polluck or Passion Play Polluck. There could be Judas Jumbo Shrimp and Simon of Cyrene Salmon. For the macabre there could be Crown-of-Thorns-Cod, or Stigmata Salmon. There could even be, wait for it – Pontius Pila-tilapia. There could be St. Maximilian Kolbe Klam Khowder. Another low hanging fruit win could be a sandwich called the Big Jonah. On the happy side there could be Resurrection Roughy. There could be Salvation Sliders and Crucifixtion Catfish – man the list goes on.
And the branding could be taken to the sides too. What about Sorrowful Mother Mac N Cheese, or Gethsemani Green Beans, or Veronica’s Veil Veggies. Christ the King in Mt. Lookout could use Cardinal Pacelli’s Cole Slaw, after their grade school. Again, the branding opportunities are limitless.
Churches could even brand the name of their frys. A Sea of Galilee Fish Fry would make a lot of sense. Or one called Seven Loaves and Two Fish would be appropriate.
So maybe this fish fry pause could give all the fish fry planners time to give thought to some fun branding for next year. I am available for consultation – by Webex, not in person!