Fast-food is ubiquitous, and so are ads for it. We know the food is bad for us, but do the ads have to be equally terrible?
Last year, one of the main contenders for our worst-ad award was a bizarre Wendy's commercial involving men in Wendy wigs out in the woods kicking trees. I guess the gist was supposed to be that you shouldn't follow the crowd when choosing your junk food, but what viewers mostly took away from it was that men look really stupid in Wendy wigs.
This year, we have some new fast-food ads to chew over. Here are just a few:
FIVE ... FIVE DOLLAR ... FIVE DOLLAR FOOT LOOOOONG
We talked earlier about addictive but annoying ads, such as FreeCreditReport.com. One that I didn't mention, but plenty of readers did, is Subway's "five-dollar footlong" commercial. Hear it once and you'll find it stuck in your brain. But the ads are likely working, as evidenced by the fact that Quizno's now has a response ad in which someone eats a $5 bill. Also, someone on YouTube has produced an extended dance remix of the "five ... five dollar" jingle. And you thought the original was annoying.
TACO BELL RAPPERS
Two guys pull up to a Taco Bell drive-through and order, rap-style, with the one in the back seat providing beatboxing accompaniment. Says reader Pam: "I can't help but picture the poor clerk standing there, rubbing his or her temples, waiting for these idiots to finish, while the cars behind them start to line up waiting for their turn."
I don't find the ads for Sonic Drive-In (with two guys sitting in their car and bantering back and forth) especially good or torturous. What I do get annoyed by, and I said this last year, too, is that so many of us in markets that are NOWHERE NEAR a Sonic have to sit through their ads. Obviously Sonic has enough money to do a national ad buy and their executives don't care that people who will never visit one of their restaurants are seeing their ad. It's good business for them, I'm sure, as those same people eventually may travel to a state with Sonics. But it's frustrating for us -- I couldn't care less about Sonic's food, yet their icy, slushy drinks are just the thing in summer. And the nearest one is 143 miles from me. Thanks, Sonic. Choke on your cherry limeade, why don't ya?
DADS' DAY AT DAIRY QUEEN
Dairy Queen is having a good ad year. We've already praised their "antidisestablishmentarianism" ad (please let me never have to type that word again). But the DQ ad I like more features a bunch of dads with amazing jobs showing off their careers at their children's school. Astronauts, spies -- they all take second place to the dad who manages a Dairy Queen and brings in a machine to make Blizzards for all the kids. Of course, in reality, half the kids would have soft-serve allergies or not be allowed to eat sugar, but the ad is still funny.
There are many, many more fast-food ads that I haven't mentioned, including Jared for Subway, the plastic-headed Burger King, Jack in the Box's mascot being invited into a "Jack sandwich" while in the hot tub with some 1970s types (see video below).
Share your thoughts on all fast-food ads, good or bad, in the comments.