Arby's Oven Mitt - Talking quilted oven mitt and mascot for Arby's, a Fort Lauderdale-based company
with fast-food that is "Oven Fresh...Oven Good." Called "goofy, assertive and a
bit of a ham," the animated character named Oven Mitt (voiced by actor Tom
Arnold) hangs around (on a wall hook) in the kitchen area of Arby's restaurants
and gives motivational talks to the crew members who prepare "Market Fresh"
In one spot, Oven Mitt mentions that an Arby's Five Star Club
sandwich being prepared smells delicious. But when one of the workers asks "How
can you smell without a nose," the suddenly aware Oven Mitt runs screaming "My
nose, where did it go?!" Later, we see the Oven Mitt wearing a pair of novelty
glasses sporting a large nose and mustache. But then another worker asks "How
can he hold the glasses up without any ears?" and panic ensues once again.
other spots, the Oven Mitt sings "Volare" to Arby's Italian Beef n' Provolone
sandwich or is shown being coached by his personal trainer who encourages Oven
Mitt to lay on the counter and do sit-ups to build up his abs.
The $85 million Oven Mitt ad campaign (that touted the idea that Arby's "roasts" – not
"fries or grills" – its beef) was created by WB Doner &
Company from Southfield, Michigan. and launched in March, 2003. The ad's tagline
was "What Are You Eating Today?" An earlier Arby's campaign featured the deep voice of soul singer, Barry
White in the role of Appetite Man.
TRIVIA NOTE: There are 3,200 Arby's locations nationwide (compared to more than 18,000 for Subway, Arby's non-hamburger food
competitor). And, while Arby's won the 'Hot Again' award from Nation's Restaurant News in 2003, not everyone likes the Oven Mitt campaign.
One site called Oven Mitt "ugly and unlikable" while another proclaimed Oven Mitt as a cheap (blatant) rip-off of Betty Crocker's classic Hamburger Helper Helping Hand
(a "bastard love child of the Hamburger Helper hand and Grimace from Mickey D's").
In the spirit of "The Oven Mitt from Arby's must die," one web site went so far as to sponsor a "F**K the Oven Mitt" petition which began "We, The
Undersigned, believe that the Arby's mascot, Oven Mitt is evil and all use of said mascot should cease immediately. The idea of an amorphous, living,
breathing oven mitt, while at first bland and boring, becomes revealed as something so unnatural, so abhorrent that any and all traces of its existence
should be wiped from this earth...." The petition was written by Matt Waldron and hosted at http://www.petitiononline.com as a public service.
Still another opinion (Ethan2.0) at http://www.campushook.com revealed that the "creepy
talking oven mitt...terrified me so much that I destroyed my own oven mitts just so they couldn't start talking; now my hands are covered with burns.
Finally, one http://www.blogspot.com writer expressed the sentiment "whoever created the
Arby's Oven Mitt needs to be pushed into a pool of lemon juice and razor blades
and left to die a horrible death." See also - "Hamburger Helper Helping Hand"