Steven Waldman

Steven Waldman

Burger King Blows It

burger king ad.jpgAs a parent of two teenage boys, we’re in a constant struggle to figure out what movies or TV shows are appropriate. (The latest debate: Bruno). It’s a struggle, and the source of much friction, but we figure it’s our parental responsibility to try to regulate sexual content.
Then I saw this Burger King campaign and thought…. what’s the point? Why do we bother? We can block HBO but Burger King is right there in our face with an image of an attractive, shocked looking woman, with bright red lipstick, opening up her mouth to take in the “super seven incher.”
UPDATE 7/8, 9:56: Burger King says the ad is running only in Singapore.

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Julie Staudenmier

posted July 7, 2009 at 1:00 pm

Eww! The good news is that most teenagers I know would have the same reaction, i.e., they’d think this ad is both crass and gross. May the new sandwich fail fantastically…

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Charles Cosimano

posted July 7, 2009 at 1:06 pm

Burger King did not blow it. They just got more free PR, which was the purpose of the ad.
Look, it works like this and Calvin Klein were past masters of the art back in the 80s. You know that your product is going to have an appeal to a given audience, so you don’t need advertising to reach them. What you want to do is get a bigger audience. Conventional advertising does not do that. It is too easily ignored and God has given us the mute button. What you want to do is create something that will get people not of your market upset at you. Their upsetness will cause the news media to pick up the story and get your ad to people who would otherwise not pay any attention to it.
And you get another benefit. The folks who do not like the people who get upset are going to look more favorably on your product, so yes, you may lose a family here and there, but you pick up a whole bunch of people who don’t like to have children next to them when they eat a hamburger and view parents as the lowest order of animal life. And that market, by definition, has more disposable income.
The less family-friendly you can appear to be, the greater your cash flow because you will not lose the vast bulk of your family business but you will increase your non-family business.

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Luce Imaginary

posted July 7, 2009 at 3:11 pm

Be afraid of TEH SEXXX, everyone!!!11! It’s coming to get us!!!!

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The other steve

posted July 7, 2009 at 3:25 pm

“what’s the point? Why do we bother? ”
Of course I’ve only got 1 teen age boy and a young lady out of the house …
And I have no clue why you bother. I never did, instead I focused on modeling and talking about correct behavior … which lovely adds like this give one a great opportunity to do …
You can’t change the culture … and why would you want to? the good and bad of it are inextricably linked … focus on raising good and kind people … who can process ALL the conflicting messages the culture send them and make good decisions … it’s not a simple task and the earlier you start the better off you all will be.

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posted July 7, 2009 at 9:40 pm

Steven, this ad is from Singapore. It wouldn’t be a problem and no one would see it if people such as yourself DID NOT KEEP POSTING IT. You do because secretly you like this ad, don’t you? Otherwise why would you get upset about ads from Singapore that your little God-fearin’ kids would never, ever other wise see. Go back to your Bible. The show’s over, Steven.

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Dangerous Christian

posted July 13, 2009 at 2:17 pm

As Americans we’re still “offended” by anything sexual-especially those of us who embrace the Judaeo-Christian religious traditions.
However I notice that we didn’t blink when Burger King used the Transformers movie for their advertising campaign here in the US (and that movie dealt with destruction and violence). It’s very “American” for us to not protest when we attach violence and martial behavior to our advertising. But when it comes to sex (even non-violent sex), we have a collective heart attack.
My advice to Steve, get over it! This is a Singapore advertisement which is really none of your business; and is from a culture far different than our own. Let your boys grow up and be men, the ad won’t kill them.

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Gerard Nadal

posted July 13, 2009 at 2:37 pm

From the company that built an empire on its “Whopper” comes a seven-incher? Need I go further? Perhaps a better corporate handle would be Burger Boy. Seriously, even someone who never heard of Freud can see where this one is going. The sandwich can’t be all that good if they need to resort to this type of ad.
It’s true that the ad was run overseas, but Burger Boy is an American corporation that should be held to the highest standard of decency. They need a little adult supervision.
BTW, notice how an ad run in Asia features a caucasian woman? That’s to make it more acceptable to asians who would otherwise be offended at an American corporation depicting one of THEIR daughters on the receiving end of a seven-inch gustatory salutation. They too share a universal human nature, which deplores the pollution of human intimacy manifest as rampant carnal gratification whenever and wherever possible. Even at an otherwise neutral locale such as Burger Boy.

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