DQ: Oh, I Love You…But I Hate You

Dairy Queen has commercials, like SO many fast food establishments, that simply confound me. For a time, every commercial they produced involved severe bodily harm to the characters in their spots. Then there’s the Rocky Horror Picture Show-esque talking mouth, which creeps me out (but not as much as the Burger King king mascot). It’s dismaying, because I put myself through college working at the DQ and if I do indulge in that unhealthy food, DQ is where I prefer to go. I’ve got a serious love/hate going on for it as a franchise.

Last night I saw the worst ad I’ve seen from the DQ in a long time. I cannot find it online, so I’ll have to muddle through a description:

We see a mother and daughter at the register, ordering food. The mother is looking at the menu. The little girl is looking about the restaurant. Her attention lingers on a boy already seated with his family in a booth. They make eye contact. She waves coyly, turning back just as her mother is ordering two sundaes. “Just one,” she corrects her mother. They proceed to a booth of their own, and moments later a DQ staffer arrives at their table with a sundae and a, “This is compliments of the gentleman seated over there,” pointing to the boy from earlier.

The little girl’s next line, delivered with a self-satisfied smile, “It’s like shooting fish in a barrel!”

Half a point to DQ for having the mother look floored/aghast. Major negative points for oh, so many reasons. Here are two:

1) They went to a typically adult scenario and applied it to children. Boo.
2) This represents gender stereotypes I find problematic and uncomfortable, especially since children are involved. Might as well start them young, eh? The girl is a temptress relying on her looks to get stuff, and the boy is more than happy to oblige (anything for a pretty face!).

Am I the only one who doesn’t find it cute to have kids acting out adult roles? It’s disconcerting and leaves me with a pit in my stomach, which I doubt is the effect DQ wants to give.

Comments

  1. Leilani Love says

    So I just saw the same commercial last night, and called my sister to see if she’d seen it as well.

    She hadn’t.

    So I decided to look it up, to see if I could find it– because, quite frankly, I was mortified by it.

    I’m glad to know I’m not the only one.

  2. says

    Gah. I haven’t seen it and hope I don’t.

    I’m so sick of seeing that on TV for all the reasons mentioned, plus the – very bizarre – fact that MRAs now seem to think feminists invented the unfair system in which men are supposed to reward women for being pretty by giving them money. No, seriously. I refuse to link, but I’ve seen this in multiple MRA forums where they all sit there complaining about how feminists expect men to spend all sorts of money on them.

    And yes, using kids to portray ANY adult scenario icks me out, but especially when it’s one that’s really… grody. Yes, I think Valley Girl slang is required to express how much I dislike this one.

  3. sbg says

    in fact that MRAs now seem to think feminists invented the unfair system in which men are supposed to reward women for being pretty by giving them money. No, seriously.

    Say what now? Oh, those poor mens.

    I’ve been trying to think of a scenario they could have used that would be more offensive. The best I came up with was the mother/daughter splitting a sundae, because no woman would ever eat a whole one by herself. Got to watch the figure!

    But even that’s not as bad as what DQ actually did.

  4. SunlessNick says

    I’ve been trying to think of a scenario they could have used that would be more offensive.

    The mother and daughter double-seducing a boy and his father?

    in fact that MRAs now seem to think feminists invented the unfair system in which men are supposed to reward women for being pretty by giving them money

    Wow. A feminist conspiracy that took place when precisely?

  5. tooizzy says

    That’s because you guys haven’t seen a little episode of the little Rascals (1940-50?) Where they show these little tykes at a bar as navy guys and there is a little girl dressed o seductively singing on stage. And they blatantly flirt with each other! I was shocked to say the least.

  6. sbg says

    Of course, that only works if you believe Eve was a real person and not a construct of a group of male fantasy writers that needed a scapegoat for their allegory to work. ;)

  7. says

    Tooizzy, actually I HAVE seen that Little Rascals, or some others like it, and I found it pretty disturbing. Ugh. Shudder.

    SBG, word. The Fall story makes so much sense once you consider the possibility it was written by men who just absolutely could not take responsibility for one damn thing to save their lives.

  8. sbg says

    That’s because you guys haven’t seen a little episode of the little Rascals (1940-50?) Where they show these little tykes at a bar as navy guys and there is a little girl dressed o seductively singing on stage. And they blatantly flirt with each other! I was shocked to say the least.

    Weird, I didn’t see your comment here before. It skipped right to Nick! Hmmm.

    At any rate, that’s not surprising. I suspect this schtick has been used over and over for a long time. I hope I never get to the point it doesn’t strike me as extremely bothersome.

  9. says

    Weird, I didn’t see your comment here before. It skipped right to Nick! Hmmm.

    That’s because it was a first time comment and had to be approved first. Strangely, when you approve them, it posts them in the order they were received instead of at the bottom.

  10. sbg says

    Ah. The notifications on those are always super-delayed as well.

    Thank goodness, though. I thought I was losing my mind.

  11. thisisendless says

    I am so glad you wrote this! I whole heartedly agree with all points. I was SO mad and grossed out and disgusted by the whole thing. In fact I think I said something close to your exact phrase.. “Yeah better start ‘em out young, huh?”

    Uuugh! Thanks for writing this.

  12. sbg says

    thisisendless – it still rankles, every time I see it. DQ has never had really fabulous marketing, but yeesh. It was never so easy to give up ice cream.

    bellatrys – thanks for the link! It probably wasn’t up on youtube before I wrote this.

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