I’m starting to think I should just start a weekly column entitled “SBG’s Commercial Corner,” because it seems I’m always talking about commercials. Or children’s programming.
The latest in my commercial finds comes from Wendy’s, whose current ad campaign causes me much consternation and nosebleeding. The one with the man and woman eating in a Wendy’s and she figures out he’s made a hologram of himself and is really at a sporting event is weak at best. The one where the kid goes to the restaurant freezer to find a bunch of people practicing Hamlet instead of hamburger patties and the kicking trees one are both just colossal WTFs to me. (You can watch all of the ads on the Wendy’s site.)
But the one that gets under my skin is the Baconator.
For those on dial-up, the commercial opens up with footage from what looks like Beatlemania from back in the sixties, only with old men’s heads pasted on women’s bodies (note: the screams are still very feminine). As if that’s not bothersome enough on it’s own, the voice over finally comes on, stating: ”obsessing over a celebrity, that’s wrong…unless that celebrity is bacon!”
There’s really no mistaking that the creators of this commercial are flat out saying a woman getting excited over her favorite celebrity is not acceptable behaviour, that it’s silly and frivolous and wrong…but a man slavering over bacon on his already-greasy burger should be encouraged and is totally okay.
I get that they’re trying to hawk their product. That’s what commercials do. But did they have to do it by massively putting down and making fun of predominantly female fanaticism while building up male fanaticism? (Never mind that it’s actually far more reasonable to be a fan [even a screaming one] of a person or rock group than it is of fatty pork products…)
And don’t get me started on the dude in the Wendy’s wig. He’s almost as scary as the Burger King mascot, only slightly less so because he doesn’t have a giant plastic head.