Friday, June 26, 2009

Organ grinding from Burger King + Hardee's

Friends, I am a marketer. I'm also a consumer. Which means I'm open to persuasion. I like creative that is sophisticated and subtle. I want to sense that there is an intelligence, a wit behind the effort. I want a reason to believe, a little wooing. What I don't want is clumsy, heavy handed pawing so I feel like I got worked over or used.

Frankly, friends, I'm feeling that way about recent marketing campaigns by Hardee's and Burger King. All of the qualities I talked about above have been rapaciously ripped from the playbooks of these two fast food chains. They want attention. They want to be talked about. Well, they have my attention, but I doubt they'll like what I have to say.

We have to start somewhere, so let's start with a promotional item for Burger King's Super Seven Incher . The new advert, which is labeled "It'll blow your mind away", features a very plastic looking lady, mouth wide open, ready to, um, enjoy a very phallic looking sub-style burger. The copy is full of innuendo that would be cheap; if it wasn't tired and borrowed: "Fill your desire for something long, juicy and flame grilled... Yearn for more..." No mistaking it, it's food porn, or forn (pood would sound more unseemly).

What strikes me as odd is that, much like most recent BK ads, this appears to be geared toward a young, testosterone fueled, heterosexual male audience. So why the heavily phallic text? I can't see the appetite of that audience being whetted by a sandwich that is described much like male genitalia. Maybe it's meant to be subversive. Or BK just assumes it's audience is illiterate and won't read the copy. I don't know. It's leering, tacky and dumb, and it makes the sandwich sound unappealing. Speaking of which, I like how the words "It'll blow" appear on one line all by themselves, suggesting not oral pleasure, but a crappy meal. Which befits the crappy creative.

Aiming slightly lower, figuratively if not literally, is a Hardee's ad announcing its new Biscuit Holes. They are tubby little bundles of dough, or something, that look fried and are served (You thought I was going to say 'come', didn't you?) with icing. The slightly shaggy and not too young man who introduces these confectionery concoctions - a kind of poor man's Tom Green - does a man on the street bit to ask folks to think of a better handle for these gustatory treats. (You can actually do this at Hardee's NameOurHoles website .) What follows in the ad can basically be summed up as a series of euphemisms for testes. We get 'goodie balls,' 'Frosty Dippers', 'Sweet Balls', 'CinniNuts','TastiNuts', 'DingleBalls,''Melting Holes'...

Okay, so the last one sounds more like some kind of anal infection. Regardless, it doesn't make the prospect of eating them very palatable. I have this rule: the last thing I want to think about when I enjoy a nice snack is any part of the human anatomy, male or female. But what do I know? Seriously, Hardee's, if you really want us to associate your snack with the testes, why don't you package them in a sack? Again, insipid creative like this is enough to put me off my appetite. But since you asked for names, Hardee's, I'll bite. Call them Dingleberreez. There. Call me. The ball's in your court.

What do you think? Are they crass, or do you like the sass?

1 comment:

  1. Agreed. These ads leave very little to the imagination. Also, with the BK ad, do they think we don't GET it? How many times can you reference a blow job in one ad?