Saturday, April 18, 2009

Controversial Burger King commercial is nothing short of successful

Well, Burger King went and got a bunch of people mad by releasing a commercial featuring SpongeBob Squarepants about the chain's fantabulous kids meals.

Go ahead and give it a look. Go ahead and head to the bottom of this post to see the absolutely mind-numbingly bizarre extended version of the commercial. Is it appropriate for children? Absolutely not. Is it funny as hell? Definitely. Hey, Sir Mix-A-Lot's "Baby Got Back" was funny when it was released, and a slightly sanitized version of the original is also a hoot.

Of course, you've got groups all over the place riled up about that television commercial. Here in beautiful Arkansas, KTHV (a CBS affiliate in Little Rock) has asked viewers what they think of the commercial. The Campaign for a Commercial-Free Childhood started a petition drive asking people to demand that the ads be pulled.

My wife tells me that the commercial has, in fact, been pulled. I can't find anything out there on these here Interwebs to confirm that, other than a story claiming Burger King has denied the television commercial is aimed at children and that the company is developing a different SpongeBob ad to air during kids' shows.

Here at Casa de Hawg we reacted with our usual "uh, OK" attitude when we saw the commercial, rewound it on our DVR and called out eight-year-old daughter to watch it. She has, after all, gotten a kick out of that "Baby Got Back" song since she originally heard it at the end of Shrek several years ago (remember the Donkey character singing it about his dragon girlfriend?)

Where, by the way, was the outrage when that song was used in Shrek? There was a show directly aimed at children and was roughly as controversial as the SpongeBob ad. Odd.

Still, I'd argue this commercial has been very successful. Why? People sure as heck have talked about it a lot and that just increases Burger King's visibility. There are times when bad publicity is better than no publicity at all. This may be one of those times.


Denford said...

The Hawg! Are you back from Brazil already? A little bird told me you made so much money with your paid posts that you were last seen on some beach in Rio rubbing sun-tan lotion into the back of some bronzed Brazilian beauty while being fanned by a bevy of half-naked female slaves.

Apparently you flew there in your own private jet with Bill Clinton and Monica Lewinsky?

HealthNutWannaBeDad said...


Having studied direct marketing as well as niche advertising, I don't get this Burger King commercial.

It really isn't directed at kids. So why advertise a .99 cent kids meal at the end of the commercial?


Eat Well. Live Well.

Harrison said...

Do we really want to support something so Imperial as the monarchy?

The Natural State Hawg said...

Denford -- That's all false, Denford. Judging from your blog, however, I'd wager that you could use a vacation to get away from all the shenanigans over there.

Brazil, my friend, would be a good choice. If you'd like to chase girls with Bill Clinton, I might be able to put you two in touch.

Paul -- What's the point? I'd say it's just to get attention. On that level, Burger King has succeeded.

Sure, the PR cats say that Burger King just wants to let adults know there are kids meals available for cheap, but I'm not buying it. Attention, attention, attention -- that's what it's all about.

Harrison -- Why not? We've supported the Kennedys for all these years.

Besides, the Burger King is like the Queen of England. He's beloved and respected, but has no real power. We merely celebrate him as a figurehead -- a symbol of the finest in fast food dining.

Harrison said...

If they'd bring back Emanuel Lewis I would consider it.

Sherry said...

A commercial achieves its purpose when it gains recognition for the product. Thus, this BK commercial has achieved its purpose. Think about it: when is the last time you blogged about a BK commercial? I'll bet it wasn't until this one, huh? Offensive ads get name recognition, controversy, talk, etc.