People are furious with Jack in the Box and their 'innuendo-laden' Teriyaki Bowl commercial
I get it, advertisers.
In this modern world we live in, where there's several companies competing for your attention for every cell phone, laptop or pair of pants you even think of having in your possession. So it's not surprising that businesses pour millions into making sure their product or service gets your attention better than the next guy.
That means you've got your regular Don Drapers (hopefully without the institutionalised sexism) looking quizzical at a product, wondering how they'll sell it to the teeming masses. Every now and again, they'll snap their fingers, and they'll exclaim: "I've got it!" Plus, you know what? Sometimes, they actually do have that amazing idea.
This is not one of those times.
If you're craving a burger, and Wendy's, McDonald's or Burger King just ain't hitting the spot, there's a good chance you might head down to Jack in the Box instead. Most people know them for their only moderately terrifying mascot (still has nothing on the Burger King), but that might change after this... uh, 'suggestive' commercial.
Turns out, there's a lot more to Jack in the Box than just burgers and french fries. Good on them. They've got chicken fajita pies next to egg rolls - very boldly - and very recently, they introduced Teriyaki Bowls. They sound delicious, but if you're an advertiser, how would you sell that to fast food lovers? By innuendo, that's how!
But for some reason, Jack in the Box's new Teriyaki Bowls commercial is catching quite a bit of heat online, and once you have a look at the video, you might understand why. The commercial starts with the Jack in the Box mascot saying: "While other burger places serve the same old stuff, I’m the one with the bowls to serve something different."
Yeah, you can see where this is going.
How many times can you hear 'bowls' as 'balls' before the joke starts to get old? For me, the answer is "exactly once", so after hearing Jack's staffers complimenting his bowls (“Those are some nice bowls!" "Everyone’s going to want to get their hands on Jack’s bowls!"), I was having a great time watching this video. Just the best.
Yeah yeah, laugh it up. At some point in the commercial, an executive type does tell Jack “The lawyers aren’t comfortable with the new marketing campaign,” but Jack isn't hearing any of it. I guess this is how the company wanted to hedge their bets, but AdWeek's David Griner has a decidedly different take, calling it an “an ad that celebrates sexual innuendo in the workplace”, and says it undermines the momentum of the #MeToo movement.
For their part in the whole thing, Jack in the Box - alongside David & Goliath, the ad agency that created the commercial - are standing by their ad, arguing: “This ad is not diminishing any movement, and we stand firmly against any form of harassment and value those who have the guts to combat it.”
All the same, they've decided to keep the commercial unlisted on YouTube. Didn't quite have the 'bowls' to publicise it, unfortunately.