Offensive Commercials: Fast Food Showdown!

Americans love our fast food, and you know what we like most about it? It’s not the trans fats, or the corporatization of farming, or even the ridiculous amount of waste the packaging generates (so if you guessed one of those, you’re out of luck). Nope, our favorite thing about our favorite type of food is… offensive commercials! If it weren’t, then why would EVERY f*ing fast food chain in the country advertise its plastic-y foods with a ridiculously offensive ad campaign?

So, in honor of America’s apparent love of offensive fast food commercials, we’re having (wait for it…) AN OFFENSIVE FAST FOOD COMMERCIAL SHOWDOWN! The contestants for this showdown include a date-rapey toaster oven, a Warrant-loving park pervert, and a booty-shaking creeper in a king mask. Four ads enter, one ad leaves! Which will reign supreme as the most offensive fast food commercial? YOU MAKE THE CALL! (Oh, and warning: These ads contain ads)

Our first contestant is an ad for Jack-in-the-Box smoothies:

Why it’s offensive: Well, there is the issue of a man in a bobble head calling menopausal women “street rat crazy.” (What does that mean, by the way? Is that even a thing you can call someone?) Basically the entire ad is constructed around the notion that women going through menopause are at their Stepford-wifey breaking point. What was the deal with her angrily clipping that rose? It might as well have been John Wayne Bobbit’s penis. Oh well, at least now we know that menopausal women can save money on hormone therapy by drinking fro-yo smoothies to cure their hot flashes instead. Thanks, bobble-headed douche!

Sorry if the John Wayne Bobbit joke was a tad dated, but this next showdown contestant just has me in 90s misogyny mode for some reason. Check out Burger King’s Spongebob promo:

Why it’s offensive:This commercial is baffling on so many levels. First of all, that Sir Mix-a-lot song came out in 1992, which means it was around before most of this ad’s target audience was even born. Second, this is an ad for kids’ meals, with cartoon toys in them! What’s with the skimpily-clad, square-assed ladies? And how about Sir Mix-a-lot’s self-referential piece there at the end, where he says the ad is making him richer? Am I hearing correctly that he says “booty is booty”? Not only does this ad use sex combined with a cartoon sponge to sell burgers to kids, it is also straight-up confusing from a postmodern theoretical standpoint. WTF?

It would be nice to feel surprised that Burger King chose to objectify women in order to hawk fast food, but anyone with a television knows that sexy, creepy fast food ads are just par for the course. Contestant number three, an Arby’s ad, only solidifies this knowledge:

Why it’s offensive: Whoa! Who would have thought of playing Warrant’s “Cherry Pie” behind an image of a woman-turned-sex-object? Sooo original (eye roll). This ad doesn’t need a lot of discussion, it’s just cliche, obnoxious, and it portrays women as sexy park-dwellers who are ready to give it up to any schlub with a sandwich. This also makes men look like idiots, because the guy in this commercial is too slobby to even hold on to a phone number without getting his food grease all over it. Oh, gender politics! Does anyone else not want a burger right now?

Our final contestant is evidence that fast food ads can be just as icky in their portrayals of men as they are women, and even worse in their portrayals of kitchen appliances. Behold the Quizno’s torpedo:

Why it’s offensive: Is it just me, or is that TOASTER OVEN a DATE RAPIST?!? “Put it in me, Scott” “Say it sexier.” Ugh! I need to file a police report just because I watched this piece of shit ad. And I get the feeling that somehow Quizno’s thinks this ad is okay because when a male (Scott) is the victim of sexual assault, it’s hilarious! Hey, let’s make this man do sexual acts that he doesn’t want to do! It’s okay, because we’re selling sandwiches! Delicious, phallic sandwiches! Put it in me!!!

But enough of my ranting on these offensive ads. It’s up to you now. Vote as to which one you thought was the worst, and we’ll announce the winner (or I guess I should say loser) on the blog on Monday. Don’t forget to leave your thoughts in the comments section!

by Kelsey Wallace
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Kelsey Wallace is an editor in Portland, Oregon. Follow her on Twitter if you like TV and pictures of dogs.

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17 Comments Have Been Posted

choose one?

glad you had the "i hate them all" option. jesus.

what the crap?

When will Sir-Mix-A-Lot go away forever? What a lame-ass combination of pop culture randomness, Burger King. You suck. That appears to be the theme of all of these commercials. Lame. As in, a really half-assed attempt at advertising in the first place and offensive on top of it. The Jack In The Box commercial is the most confusing. WTF is right!

How can we pick just... 4.

Great post. And there are SO many more offensive fast food commercials to choose from. I find the idea that Paris Hilton or Padma Lakshmi has ever even tasted a Carl's Junior burger pretty hard to believe. In fact, I think Carl's Junior has some of the worst/most offensive commercials out there.

Deliciously disturbing

<div><h4>The Burger King commercial campy</h4>
<p> and oddly humorous, but the claim that it's a sex-pitch to kids is off the mark. It seems more likely its a parody of Sir Mixalot's status as a "player" and the restaurant's desire to make that which is ugly (boxy, fat asses) appear desirable; specifically, via their "food" offerings. As clumsily parleyed as that was, it is not anywhere near as outrightly disturbing as that god-awful Quiznos commercial; the first night I saw it I wanted to claw out my own eyes, wash them in bleach, and light them on fire. The only thing more disturbing would be a Russ Meyer's movie played out in slow motion. Who was it that thought that was a good idea? WTF? Was NAMBLA brought in for a f*cking consult. What market segment does that one speak to...How Creepy!</p></div>

the king alone in those burger king ads

is downright creepy. anyone wearing a mask reeking of excessive creepiness is suspect.

i agree. i actually think

i agree. i actually think this commercial is pretty tongue in cheek.

the rest are all obnoxious and offensive, though.

Little Little Piggy... Sold Out to BK!

I'm surprised no one put up the latest Burger King commercial. I wasn't a big fan of Flash dance nor do I want to see a giant pig costume, dancing and or being splashed in barbecue sauce. That pretty much skeeved me out.

I agree, Carl's Junior has

I agree, Carl's Junior has the worst ads EVER. Every one of them makes me angry and also grossed out (why do they think an oozing burger is appetizing?).

I wonder, since fast food is predominantly marketed toward men, is fast food really purchased more by men? That has always been a weird assumption to me.

I completely agree

Carl's Jr.'s marketing is so disgusting (we mentioned that Padma ad in <a href="">the last showdown</a> which is why I didn't include them this time). And yeah, what is the deal with their campaign (and other fast food ads) insinuating that only men get hungry? Is it really only men who are buying this stuff? I'd think they would want just as many women customers, but the ads suggest otherwise.

Dont Forget

Hardee's has to be the worst offender in this category. They've done everything short of actually slathering the skantily-clad woman in practically all of their ads with ketchup and mustard and stuffing her between two buns. How many commercials can one company air that shows just how wide a hot chick can open her mouth to shove more hamburger in? I throw up a little each time.

BK big butts song

I've always been surprised that the "i like big butts" song has become such a pop culture standard---and frequently targeted to children. It was also used in Shark Tale. I hear it all the freaking time while watching TV with my kids.

not date rapey

For me, the toaster oven in the quizno's commecial is just a power bottom who knows what he likes and how to ask for it!

Put it in me!

i don't especially think

i don't especially think that this redeems them, but they are all so totally tongue in cheek. i refuse to believe that they genuinely reinforce stereotypes for everyday people, they take the piss out of them.


Are you retarded? What about the quiznos ad indicated he didnt want to say it. Just because youre all dried up doesnt mean he doesnt want it.

Wow. Your anonymously posted

Wow. Your anonymously posted comment just made me feel like I'd left the land of the intelligent and ended up at YouTube. Ugh.

Thanks for the interesting

Thanks for the interesting post! It made me remember a campaign that Burger King did a few years ago... There were chicken fries under the slogan : "nod you head". Just imagine people in chicken masks and hard metal music. Frankly speaking, I haven't been to Burger King since. I just wonder if there exist the top 10 Best fast food campaigns?

If it weren't, then why would

If it weren't, then why would EVERY f*ing fast food chain in the country advertise its plastic-y foods with a ridiculously offensive ad campaign? <a href="">pure garcinia cambogia</a>

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