Know Your Audience – Guest Post

April 19, 2009 by admncc

Here at The Constant Complainer, in addition to my own posts, readers can submit Guest Posts on topics they would like to complaint about.  Sugar submitted the below-Guest Post.  Her complaint is a recent commercial that was made for kids, but that she thinks is inappropriate.  I think her post should generate an interesting discussion.  Enjoy and without further adieu, here’s Sugar…

First, let me say, that never in my life did I expect my next post to be about a television commercial.  The other day I was watching TV and a Burger King commercial came on. It’s only 30 seconds long and you can you can view it here.  It was referencing Sir Mix-a-Lot’s “Baby Got Back” song.  The dancers had “square butts” to promote Sponge Bob Square Pants.  The “King” character was dancing around and measuring their butt’s, etc.

I started laughing (because I thought it was funny) until I realized that they were promoting Burger King’s Kids Meal.  I’m not a parent.  I don’t have kids.  But I thought this commercial was inappropriate.  At the end, what appeared to be Sir Mix-a-Lot even said, “Booty is booty.”  Wait a second!  Are you kidding me?

To me, they used a grown up song and “message” – maybe not so much with the words, but with the actions.  Why would they use a “booty dance” to promote a kid’s meals?  It did grab my attention at first, but it shouldn’t be geared towards children because of the nature of the message.  I know I can turn the channel if I don’t want to watch something, but how many parents out there don’t turn the channel and let their kids be subjected to this?  I’ll admit it’s not the worst thing on television, but does it have to be on there?

I think that BK is running out of promotional ideas and it’s a little sad that they have to scrape the bottom of the barrel.

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  1. Dan says:

    I don’t know that they are scraping the bottom of the barrel necessarily. Just an absolutely horrible marketing decision. You are right. An adult theme like a “booty” is not for kids.

  2. Laura says:

    My thoughts exactly! I think they were trying to compete with McDonalds Filet O’Fish commercial. You know…with the singing fish on the wall. At first I thought that commercial was hilarious…but then I thought…how demented is this? A dead fish telling you not to eat it’s friend? Same thing with the BK commercial. At first it’s hilarious…then you think…is this for real? Did the wierd BK King just measure that girl’s butt? Definitely inappropriate for a kids meal.

  3. Chris says:

    I don’t actually remember a time when Burger King had a decent ad … so this doesn’t surprise me at all. Stupid Burger King. Still love the Whopper though … have to be honest!

  4. NeoConDon says:

    This is an excellent post, Sugar.

    I have 4 boys, and they all like Sponge Bob. They also like Burger King although they prefer McDonalds. I think the ad is kind of stupid, but it’s not even close to some of the inappropriate TV programming and commercials out there. The final cut with mix-a-lot saying what he said was out of line, but the children that eat Sponge Bob Happy Meals won’t understand, and likely won’t question it. That song came out in 1992, and it was everywhere, and it’s played on the radio all the time… At least BK didn’t have a bunch of large breasted bimbos, and the butts were square…hardly a sexist commercial…And this is coming from an ultra right wing conservative. I’m more frightened of my children being lied to about the global warming scam and communist healthcare than a silly commercial like this.

    In my opinion, this ad is not really for the children, it’s for the parents. That song was huge when I was in college, and now I have children that I’ll take for kid’s meals with my money. When choosing fast food, parents don’t choose where they go based on nutrition, they go based on the toy the kid will like. I’ll certainly be able to remember where the sponge bob toy is, and that will make the kids happy…

  5. Sugar says:

    Don’t get me wrong, I still like going to BK. And I do have to say that the girls didn’t have low cut tops, or high cut shorts on which I’m sure BK took into consideration. I agree with you NCD on how the ad is for the parents.

  6. Tristan says:

    I think it’s a very funny ad, but you’re right Sugar, not terribly tasteful to be for kids meals. It’s hardly unusual, though. Television in general has very little good to offer. They don’t call it the idiot box for nothing.

  7. c.princess says:

    I’ve seen the commercial and thought it was funny.

  8. Jen says:

    I think the “Burger King” dancing around is even creepier than the ad itself. He freaks me out.

  9. oh my gosh i saw that too and was busting up… then i was like, wait what? a kids meal? this blows.

  10. Marissa says:

    Whatever happened to the good ole commercials with Rodney Allen Rippy (Jack-in-the-Crack) and The Hamburglar (McD’s)? Umm, did I just give my age away?

  11. I had never seen the commercial before, but heard about it. This reminds me of “The Truth” commercials when they reveal the comments/advertisements of the tobacco executives. Just like in the tobacco industry, I bet no one will take responsibility for this idea or greenlighting it for television.

  12. Most of the Burger King commercials are directed toward the kids as they advertise the latest toys, I think this time they directed it toward the ones with the cash – mom and dad.

    I think it’s meant as tongue in cheek, kind of, bring you back to the days when a Burger King burger was a sure-fire hangover cure – and look at you now, with KIDS.

    I don’t think it’s appropriate for kids necessarily, but I see where they were going with it.

    With all the raunchy songs on the radio right now, it seems pretty tame. Luckly, my kids are a bit clueless. I might change my tune if they started to “get it”.

  13. Sugar says:

    Marissa, I totally forgot about the hambugler! LOL Wow, how far back was that….lol

  14. Marissa says:

    Heheheh, um.. yeah, I only heard about the hamburglar, because I think it was a LONG time ago..ancient time. 😀

  15. william gatherer says:

    That add is right up there with the recent adds I have seen for State Farm where the Hotdog vendor is selling hotdogs, with no buns. The lady asks for a bun, and the guy says well he is advertising hotdogs, not buns.

    They cut to another scene where it says something along the line of make sure your agency isn’t giving you a dog without a bun. what they mean is that you ‘get what you pay for’ and what they say is exactly what they say, not what you think they mean. It could be mis construed that they are giving you a “dog” in another meaning. Maybe I am reading too much into this, but I think it is a pile of hooey, along with the other one that says “I can’t say Bleep on tv.. ” do we need to stoop to this level?

  16. dani says:

    I do love the Mc’D’s filet o fish commercial..

  17. Sugar says:

    Who is Rodney Allen Rippy?

  18. Marissa says:

    He was a cute little Black kid in the Jack in the Box commercials during the 70’s. He couldn’t eat the Jumbo Jack burgers because they were too big. It was on all the time like the “Mikey” Life cereal commercial.

  19. Kelly says:

    I totally agree!!!! That is completely inappropriate! I am so tired of inappropriate things being directed at my children!

    The movie Cars has the word “stupid” in it. I hate that word! I’d rather my kids say shit! At least it’s not a word that’s full of hate!

  20. Sugar says:

    I won’t get started with all of the “his and her” pleasure gels commercials, or the “male growth” commercials. How do you explain that to children?

  21. NeoConDon says:

    Sugar Says:
    April 23rd, 2009 at 8:42 am

    I won’t get started with all of the “his and her” pleasure gels commercials, or the “male growth” commercials. How do you explain that to children?

    I believe that’s part of the 3rd grade curriculum in the public schools. It comes right before “oral sex is not really sex,” and after the lesson that tells when the abortion bus leaves the “guidance” office.

  22. Tristan says:

    The idiot box explains everything to children for you, no need to worry!

  23. Sugar says:


  24. Extreme John says:

    I recently saw this same commercial while watching some after school thing with my daughter, it instantly pissed me off. I planned on writing about it but with my short attention span I was on to something else. Great guest post and there are almost as many commercials now on TV that I hate my kids seeing as there are good decent commercials. Sad.

  25. I too saw this commercial and found it completely inappropriate. I suppose as long as Neo’s kids keep seeming “clueless” I guess it will be all good for him. Sad.

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