There was a time where if you wanted overtly sexualized or misogynistic advertising (I'm looking at you Bacardi), you had to turn to the liquor ads in Maxim or Playboy, or Calvin Klein ads -- well, just about anywhere. But this ongoing trend of centering sex jokes around sandwiches filled with meats of mysterious origin is getting to be a bit much.
Why, just look at this disgusting effort from Burger King, which not only includes a reference to the length of the meat-filled sandwich, but also features the word "blow" and the wide open, red-ringed mouth of a shocked young lady. Makes me wonder why they didn't go with 9 inches as a tribute to Alex Bogusky's diet book. Perhaps 7 inches was cheaper and had the added benefit of not making the target audience feel like it didn't ... wait for it ... measure up. (Actually, according to Burger King, the ad wasn't created by Crispin Porter & Bogusky. UPDATE: According to BK, "this advertisement is running to support a limited promotion in the Singapore market and is not running in the U.S. or any other markets." Which totally makes it all OK, then!)
I can't decide whether I find this more or less disgusting and off-putting than the Quiznos "Toasty Torpedo" effort, in which the oven asks the young Quiznos staffer to "put it in me." This comes 10 seconds after the young man makes passing reference to not doing something again because "that burned."
Things have gotten so out of hand in the category -- and Quiznos ads are typically so bad -- that most people assumed an online video featuring porn actresses reenacting "Two Girls and a Cup" with a Quiznos sub was actually a legit ad effort from the marketer. (It was, in fact, a Playboy spoof.)
Carl's Jr. and Hardee's, meanwhile, aren't going to take a sloppy second place in this race. Oh no. The folks who somehow thought it would be a good idea to conjure up images of STDs in their commercials by featuring Paris Hilton are now taking a sort of "Girls Gone Wild" approach. After the chain's latest efforts -- including Padma Lakshmi making her Hindu forebears cry (though, I'll admit, I loved that ad for all the very same reasons I'm complaining about here), dim-bulb "actress" Audrina Patridge eating a Teriyaki burger on the beach, and a YouTube celebrity stunt -- it is now giving young women across the country a chance to get half nekkid and defile themselves as part of a fast-food marketing stunt. The poor man's Megan Fox featured on the company's Hot Chicks Eating Burgers promo can fill you in on the details. In short, ladies, lick sauce off your fingers while making eyes at the camera and you could win a whole $1,000 and a trip for two to Vegas and a chance (just a chance, mind you) to participate in an upcoming Carl's Jr. or Hardee's marketing campaign.
Wouldn't it be hilarious if the winner were allowed to participate ... as a key grip?
Anyway, just my way of saying, look guys, we get it. And maybe this is helping sales with the crowd that hoses down in Axe body spray before leaving the house. But these are not two great tastes that taste great together.
A sandwich is just a sandwich, so quit trying so hard to make it a penis.
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