The phrase first came to public attention as a U.S. television commercial for the Wendy's chain of hamburger restaurants in 1984. In the ad, titled "Fluffy Bun", actress Clara Peller receives a burger with a massive bun from a fictional competitor which uses the slogan "Home of the Big Bun". The small patty prompts Peller to angrily exclaim, "Where's the beef?" The catch phrase was repeated in television shows, films, magazines, and other media outlets.
First airing on January 10, 1984, the original commercial featured three elderly ladies examining an exaggeratedly large hamburger bun topped with a minuscule hamburger patty. The other two ladies poked at it, exchanging bemused comments ("It certainly is a big bun. It's a very big bun. It's a big fluffy bun. It's a very big fluffy bun.") before being interrupted by Peller's outraged, irascible demand. Sequels featured Peller yelling at a Fluffy Bun executive on his yacht over the phone and approaching fast food drive-up windows that were slammed down before she could complete the line.
Later in 1984, Nashville songwriter and DJ Coyote McCloud wrote and performed a hit song entitled "Where's the Beef?" as a promotion for Wendy's restaurants' famous advertising campaign featuring Clara Peller.
The advertising campaign ended in 1985 after Peller performed in a commercial for Prego pasta sauce, saying that she "finally found" the beef.
Minstrels are milk chocolate buttons with a hard glazed shell sold in several countries including the UK, Ireland, South Africa, Cyprus, France and Spain.
They originally had the slogan "
They melt in your mouth, not in your hands", the same one used by M&M's in the United States (also used to market M&M's in the UK in the 1980s and 1990s).
In line with Mars' re-branding, Minstrels have been repackaged and are now sold as "Galaxy Minstrels", referring to the use of Galaxy chocolate in them.