The fast food chain Jack in the Box is known for its generally clever commercials and unmistakable mascot, Jack (at left). But the latest ad has me confused and slightly disturbed -- and I'm not the only one. The blogs are abuzz with befuddlement and laughter over the recent one for breakfast croissants.
Jack goes home to talk to his mom, and it plays out as a totally normal, nice commercial ... his mom is clipping coupons, so as an honor to her and her thriftiness, he'll discount the $3 croissants.
But then Jack's dad comes on scene ... with an announcement about his medicine-induced erection? What in the world of total randomness?
Check out the video:
For the most part, the commercial is a normal, albeit slightly boring food advertisement. Cheap croissants, hickory-smoked bacon, yada yada. But then, there's the surprise ending -- Jack's daddy with the pointy nose pops into the kitchen wearing something else that's pointy! It's tastefully obscured by the coffee pot, of course, but all us grownups know what's hiding behind the curtain. The innuendo is clear. In what universe does the "consult a doctor if you have an erection that lasts more than four hours" warning from Viagra commercials fit into a fast food commercial?
Jack quickly flees the scene, and I'm left wishing I could too. The commercial leaves me both slightly amused and incredibly awkward. Yet, every time it comes on, even if I'm fast-forwarding my DVR, I stop and watch the end, as if there's going to be some extra line or word that helps me understand the complete randomness.
Many blog commenters say they worry about children's reaction. Many are bound to see it. Shoving the notion of fatty and nasty food into their minds is bad enough, but frankly, I don't think most kids will catch the joke ... if you can call it that. What if they ask about it? It's easy, be honest: "It's just a stupid attempt at a joke that makes no sense."
The kid worry aside, it's just plain inappropriate and doesn't make sense from a marketing perspective. (Except in the case of PETA's marketing perspective, that is.) Any time fast food places have tried to incorporate sex into food ads, it's crashed and burned, with good reason. In fact, I think this Quizno's commercial of the talking sex-obsessed oven is tied for first place in the EWW department ... and that one, I would NOT want my kids seeing.
Please help me out with the Jack in the Box ad -- was there something I just didn't understand? Their commercials have been clever and funny in the past, so I don't see a need for a bad press PR stunt. Was there a joke there that went totally above my head?
Or are the folks responsible for this maybe loading up on some other drugs as well?
Do you find humor in the Jack in the Box commercial or does it make you lose your appetite?
Image via Jack in the Box