Sunday, May 07, 2006

Burger King Ad

Burger King has a commercial in which a man is served an exaggeratedly tiny Nouvelle cuisine dish in a fancy restaurant. He declares it "chick food" and bursts out singing "I am man, hear me roar...", leaving the restaurant and going across the street to Burger King. He is joined by a mass of men, singing together, presumably declaring their need for a big burger.

My first reaction was to be offended by the phrase "chick food". For better or worse, women eat their share of burgers and junk just like men. It was an irritating commercial on that level (even if intended to come across slightly tongue in cheek), but that wasn't all.

As it went on, I was more bothered that it was poor advertising. It was stupid. Women will be unlikely to respond well to it and some men will find it grating. Burger King had been doing those clever off-kilter ads in which the "Buger King", plastic molded head and all, shows up next to someone in bed, a rowboat, etc. They were odd, they were eye catching and they made me laugh. I even had people email me humorous shots of the "Burger King" from the ads. That's a sucessful campaign.

So I'm boycotting Burger King. Not for the vaguely misogynist tone of the commercial, but for thinking the public will respond to it. I avoid a company if their ad irritates me. They won't notice my absence, but it seems like a logical way to express disgust with bad marketing. A commercial has maybe 30 seconds to get my attention and gain my interest. There are an enormous number of creative people for hire in the advertising world who "get" the importance of entertaining and the impact that has on sales and brand image. There is no excuse for running annoying or pedestrian commercials.

If they won't invest in clever PR, I'm not going to encourage them.

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