Thursday, April 30, 2009
NASCAR TV And "Square Booty" Not Mixing Well
When Burger King switched to the new creepy King as their spokesman, it certainly was a radical change for the fast-food giant. The new advertising spokesman was a real man with a huge headpiece that made him a cross between a junior college mascot and a bad Halloween costume.
Now, there is a new ad campaign involving Burger King that has upset some NASCAR fans. Most of them are female and they have been making their views known across the Internet and also in the TDP emailbox.
Click here for an article from AdWeek about the new TV advertisements. Somehow, Burger King has crossed SpongeBob SquarePants with Sir Mix-A-Lot and come up with one of the most tasteless commercials in recent history.
The ads are actually promoting the Burger King giveaway of a SpongeBob toy. That simple message, however, is wrapped in an endless procession of dancing young women bending over to show their square-butts. For those old enough to remember the original Sir Mix-A-Lot video from 17 years ago, the BK version is certainly...interesting.
The topper is the creepy Burger King himself who wanders around with a measuring stick and at one point measures two big square-butts. Remember, this is a giveaway of a free toy for children, not an adult product or service. This commercial is supposedly aimed at the kids who watch SpongeBob and their parents. Needless to say, the complaints have been piling up.
Here is the official Burger King response:
"This commercial is intended to show that even adults can have fun, laugh and be silly with entertainment genres -- such as rap and pop-culture icons -- that have become part of everyday life."
That explanation might fly if not for the ill-advised conclusion of the commercial. Sir Mix-A-Lot makes a cameo appearance and utters the now infamous line that pushed many parents over the edge and put Burger King on the hotseat.
"Booty is booty," says the now 45 year-old former producer and rapper. That sound you hear is the official BK explanation crashing to earth.
In the Sunday Talladega race, the commercial spot in question aired on Fox multiple times. While the ad does not violate any broadcast TV guidelines, it certainly sends multiple mixed messages depending on the age and sex of the TV viewer watching it.
NASCAR has long prided itself on having a significant amount of female fans and works very hard to keep them. Many purchasing decisions are generated by the female head of the household and product loyalty is a term that NASCAR promotes at every opportunity.
Perhaps, dancing women in spandex with phonebooks in their shorts are not exactly the way to motivate adult female NASCAR fans to go to Burger King.
The adult references in the ad are also heard by young NASCAR TV fans who only know SpongeBob as a funny cartoon character who makes them laugh.
Either way, NASCAR TV continues to offer the phonebook shaking booty queens on a regular basis in racing content and NASCAR-themed shows. It seems the only real way the effectiveness of the ad campaign is going to be measured is at the front counters and drive-thru's of Burger Kings nationwide.
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