We've seen tasteless attempts at humor from Fox and Burger King before, but we have to wonder what Burger King thought it was doing attaching its name to a series of fat jokes about Jessica Simpson. Maybe the target demographic is 18- to 34-year-old men, but surely a restaurant chain that slings heart-attack sandwiches is aware that the majority of American women are larger than the star?
As part of pre-game coverage yesterday, "Fox NFL Sunday" showed a tasteless animated skit featuring the Dallas Cowboys. Here's a shaky version of the video.
If you weren't inclined to watch it, it goes something like this. Facsimiles of Dallas Cowboys players Jason Whitten and Marion Barber joke with coach Wade Phillips about quarterback Tony Romo and Simpson. The four men then share a laugh about Mr. Phillips' chances of being around next season.
The cheap shots at Romo are meant to mock his poor performance recently, but almost all of those involve Simpson's weight. She and Romo broke up months ago, by the way. And Simpson, who is curvy only by Hollywood's warped size-0 ideal, is likely in better shape than the millions who tuned in.
At NBCDFW.com, the NBC affiliate for the Dallas-Fort Worth area, locals voting on the spot were 45% furious, 27% bored, 18% laughing and 9% thrilled at press time.
And while BK has had its share of degrading, stupid and insensitive work this year, it didn't create the skit. Burger King spokeswoman Katie Boylan confirmed that the chain sponsored the skit, but Fox created it. She declined to comment further. A Fox Sports spokesman said that Burger King does not approve the sketches before they air. A call to Ms. Simpson's publicist was not immediately returned.
Fox wrote, produced and aired the bit nationally, in other words. Still, there's Burger King's name, big as day, right before the skit starts. Weight jokes associated with a fast-food chain just strike us as dumb no matter how you look at it. Consider the Whopper. The sandwich has 19 Weight Watchers points, or just under the average daily goal. Adding fries and a small shake would take you up to 45 points, or more than the average woman should consume in two days. Laughing yet?
Hear from Fortune 500 brands that have been forced to pivot as consumer preferences evolve, as well as entrepreneurs building brands from scratch to meet new consumer needs. This event peels apart the layers of brand building with a carefully crafted roster of top marketing, technology, and creative leaders.Learn more