The racist BK Fried Chicken Wrap crisis

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Okay, I have watched the Mary J. Blige Burger Chicken Snack Wrap commercial five times and I can’t see the “racist” connotation that has been applied to it. Not that it isn’t racist, but, being a white guy, I’m pretty sure the nuance flew right over my head. To me, it was just another boring commercial about another ho-hum chicken sandwich. Yet according to Madame Noire, a website that appeals to black women and which excoriated Ms Blige for doing the BK spot, fried chicken that is associated with blacks is deemed blatant racism by the black culture. Question: why didn’t Ms Blige, who IS black, pick up on it, refuse to do it, and save herself being scolded and Burger King being branded “racist”? As for you, BK, no, I don’t think you’re racist, but, hey, next time you push fried chicken, play it safe, hire Justin Bieber. And, oh yeah, fire your agency! Agencies are supposed to know these ‘racial nuances’ and protect their clients from such harm. May J Blige should never have been hired in the first place for this TV spot.

Better to use the bushes than be trapped by another government plot

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Talking urinal cakes? “Hey, listen up. Yeah, I’m talking to you. Had a few drinks? Maybe a few too many? Do yourself and everyone else a favor. Call a sober friend or a cab. And don’t forget: Wash your hands.” The Michigan state police are thinking about placing these talking urinal cakes, called Wizmarks, in select places. You know what, I appreciate the thought (who wants drunks on the road?), but I deal with enough nagging in my life and do not need a sweet-sounding female voice speaking to me from the bottom of a urinal. And what if there’s more than a voice in these urinal cakes? What if these urinal cakes take pictures? What if the pictures taken by these urinal cakes end up on a government website, or even worse, on YouTube? Or what if these devices are a new IRS trap with cameras that recognize our stupid faces staring down at the talking urinal cakes, and blurts, “There you are, you piece of low-down dog dung, pay us what you owe us, or else!” Or else what, the next time we use a urinal, the talking urinal cake blows up and takes us out? Go ahead, laugh if you want, call me stupid, or paranoid, I don’t care, I think this is a new and hideous plan hatched by an omnipresent government to plot our movements. Which is why I will use the bushes from now on.

Kraft taking unfair “hits” for its Rainbow Oreo

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I just have to ask — how long before Kraft Foods feels pressured to come to market with a rainbow-colored Oreo cookie to celebrate Gay Pride? Recently, Kraft did what it thought was a good thing, showing the image of a rainbow-colored Oreo on its Facebook page to celebrate Gay Pride Month. But instead of being applauded, it is now being attacked by a smattering of critics on both sides of the issue. Some in the gay community consider the image a “tease” and have challenged Kraft to actually market a rainbow Oreo in support of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) culture rather than just provide the image of one. On the other side of this very controversial coin, anti-gay groups are hammering away for what it perceives as more proof of a decaying culture. To both I say, chill out. No way should Kraft have to introduce a rainbow Oreo in support of America’s gay culture, not when, according to a recent article in The Atlantic, less than 5% of Americans are gay. Not to say Kraft can’t, but I don’t know any major food company that would find a 5% or less slice of the demographic pie very appetizing. As for the smaller instances of gay opposition to the rainbow-colored Oreo, stop it, because what Kraft was doing was showing its support for “diversity” and “inclusiveness” … Gee-whiz, what a touchy-feely, and easily offended, society we have become.

Give General Mills credit for showing the courage to take a stand

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If it’s true that marketers should never mix business with politics, and I generally think it is, then General Mills has shattered that dictum with a sledge hammer by aligning itself with the pro-gay movement in opposing Minnesota’s proposed gay marriage ban. It has willingly decided to engage in one of the most heated, most divisive, most controversial debates of our times. As might be expected, the bloggers and critics have exploded onto the internet with commentary both for and against General Mills … That said, I admire General Mills and their executives for having the courage to say what their company stands for, and then stand behind those beliefs. I suspect the company knows the statistics and that it is not in camp with the majority of Americans who support traditional marriage values. But that’s what makes what General Mills did so courageous. It is saying to these Americans, who are also the bulk of the folks who buy General Mills’ products — ‘We respect your right to think the way you do about this issue, but this is what we believe.’ So let the chips fall, but, agree or disagree, you can’t say General Mills lacked the courage of its convictions.

Paleolithic-age climate change?

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So now we know: man’s destructive ways started long ago, way long ago, like back in the Paleolithic age. So say scientists at UCLA who studied the demise of the woolly mammoth. And what did they learn? That the poor woolly’s were slaughtered by Paleolithic hunters, nasty little human dudes with spears and stone clubs. And, oh yes, by climate change, too. Mean little human dudes and climate change, a deadly duo. Now, fast-forward to today, mean human dudes are still around (only we’re bigger now and we’ve advanced way beyond stone clubs — we now have high-tech drones capable of bringing down whole herds of woolly mammoths.) But the climate change thing, that I don’t get. I thought climate change was a modern-day phenomena caused by cars, trucks, jet planes, gaseous cows, big industry and a host of other environmental hazards? What am I missing here?

Hey, Pepsi, c’mon, will you please just stop with the marketing

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Andrew Cheyne, a media researcher with the Berkeley Media Studies Group, recently accused PepsiCo of using “good old-fashioned advertising” in their ‘Pepsi Refresh Project‘, a social marketing campaign in which Pepsi delivered $20 million to community projects that received the most votes. Cheyne took issue with the part of the campaign where “…customers who purchased certain Pepsi products could get ‘power votes,’ giving their favorite projects a better chance of winning Pepsi’s cash…” In other words, OMIGOD! PepsiCo is marketing its products. Sinister, evil marketing, and in the minds of people like Cheyne, this neutralizes anything good that the company attempts to do. This is so cockeyed. It’s as though critics want the industry giants to focus only on being good corporate citizens and just forget all that marketing stuff. How is it so-called smart guys like Cheyne have no clue about the basics — PepsiCo is a food and beverage company, it produces foods and beverages to sell to the public; to sell these products it must market them. If it listen to its critics and just stops marketing? Uh, goodbye, PepsiCo!

Cows produce milk? ‘No bloody way, mate, I didn’t know that’

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Omigod! Okay, it’s not like I think today’s generation of young people are the brightest bulbs in the history of the planet, but I never thought they were stupid either. But now I think some are just downright stupid, or ignorant, or, well, hell, how else do you explain a survey of teens and young adults in the UK in which 40% did not know milk came from a cow? I’m serious. A British charity called LEAF surveyed 2,000 consumers aged 16 to 23 and came up with these mindnumbing results:
— 33 percent didn’t know eggs are produced by chickens;
— 11 percent thought eggs are made of wheat or corn;
— 36 percent were unaware that bacon comes from pigs;
— Young adults think beef cows do more than just produce beef; 8 percent though beef cows produce milk for humans, and 1 percent thought they produce eggs.
Beef cows produce eggs? Do you know what ought to scare the bejeebies out of the British people? Somewhere in this gaggle of 2,000 bright lights may be a future British prime minister who thinks we milk wheat and collect eggs made from corn. But look, I’m not gloating. America has its own share of burned-out bulbs. Who can ever forget this wonderful gem from former boxer Mike Tyson – “I really dig Hannibal. Hannibal had real guts. He rode elephants into Cartilage.” This is America, mates, where someone in a library once asked a librarian, “Why are so many Civil War battles fought on national park sites?” How stupid is that? Everyone knows you can’t get into these parks without paying huge vehicle fees.

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