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.