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Friday, April 24, 2009

I hate that Burger King commercial and I cannot lie ...

Not content to merely sell hamburgers that taste like grilled skunk meat, Burger King seems to relish in unleashing TV commercials that stink just as bad as their food. Equal parts juvenile, offensive and creepy, it's like Burger King has become the "Family Guy" of fast food ads.

Their latest opus has become inescapable, as it seems to play during every commercial break of every show I watch. A tie-in with Nickelodeon's "SpongeBob SquarePants," it features that terrifying King character (seriously, who hasn't had nightmares about that shiny, blank-stared creep?) dancing to a parody of Sir Mix-A-Lot's why-won't-it-die classic, "Baby's Got Back" — new lyrics: "I like square butts and I cannot lie, Squid and sea star can't deny" — while several hot chicks dressed as school girls shake their quadrilaterally-enhanced heineys in the background.

Parent groups are predictably irate at the juxtaposition of a beloved children's cartoon with overt sexuality. But those groups typically despise commercials aimed at kids to begin with, so they didn't have far to go. Their point is valid, I guess, if a little naïve — if a kid sees sex in a song about square butts, chances are he already knew something about the birds and bees to start with. If not, then butts are just funny. (In fact, just saying the word still makes me giggle sometimes. "Butt." Heeheeheehee!) Telling your little angel the ad is sexual and that he shouldn't watch it only makes him want to watch it more.

That doesn't excuse those maniacs at BK and Nick from making such a racy ad using a Saturday morning icon. (What's next? Hannah Montana singing "Like a Vegan" to the tune of "Like a Virgin," all about her first taste of a Whopper?) They'll likely defend themselves by pointing to the legions of teen and college-aged fans of the anthropomorphic poriferan who probably find the ad hilarious. But they're also the same demographic that helped make "Paul Blart: Mall Cop" a hit, so they can be immediately discounted.

But I'm a Spongebob fan too. And as a SpongeBob fan, I don't like seeing such a symbol of wide-eyed innocence and fun used in such a crass, bottom-feeding piece of corporate trash like this commercial. Burger King can stick him in as many Kids Meals and fatten up as many greedy little porkers as they want, but is it too much to ask to do it in a way that stays true to the spirit of the character? If you want crude and stupid, BK, fulfill your destiny and crank out that "Family Guy" Kids Meal you've always wanted. I know you're dying to.




Adam Reinhard, areinhard@greenbaypressgazette.com

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2 Comments:

Adam, I find your use of the word "butt" to be offensive. OK, not offensive, but delightful. Thank you for not saying "ass" -- I see plenty of that on the fan comments of the Packers blog.

By Anonymous Anonymous, At April 28, 2009 at 2:33 PM  

why don't you yank the bible out off your crack and lighten up. the only thing better than a burger king commercial is one of thier skunk whoopers w\cheese. maybe you need to take your misplaced anger out on the adult that fiddled you and leave the king alone!

By Blogger jeff, At May 11, 2009 at 10:05 AM  

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