I watch some commercials on television and am amazed that the corporate sponsor really signed off on the product. Think about the expressions on the faces of the dark suits in the executive boardroom when they were presented with some of the commercials running on TV right now.
Take Jack in the Box. "Jack Box," the fast-food chain's mascot -- a man wearing what looks like a Ping-Pong-ball head or a snowman getup with a clown hat -- is sitting playing a game much like Scrabble with a beautiful blonde. He lays out the nonword "swavory," selling a waffle breakfast sandwich for having savory sausage and sweet maple waffles. The blonde then lays on the board letters reading "No Nookie." Jack says, "What's that supposed to ... ? Oh." Is sexual slang really necessary to sell breakfast sandwiches during prime time?
Chicago Tribune columnist Eric Zorn had this reaction to Jack's misfortune: "The resulting image in my mind's eye is cricky -- a combination of creepy and icky."
That's not as edgy as a new TV ad for Skittles, the popular children's candy -- meaning the ad is targeted to children. It begins with a young woman kissing a walrus. This is not a peck; it's a moaning make-out session. "What are you doing?" asks another woman who discovers them. "Hey, this isn't what it looks like," says the kissing woman on the couch. "Good, because it looks like you're making out with my boyfriend," the second woman says. The other replies: "This isn't Bobby. It just looks like Bobby."
At least the audience might think the "boyfriend" here might be a human in someone's mind. But unlike the Snickers ads, the walrus never becomes someone else. It remains an ugly, flippered, mustachioed walrus. The kissing girl says of the walrus, "He says he's like these new Skittles Riddles. The colors on the outside don't match the flavors on the inside." She flirts with/teases the walrus with the candy, "You can't have it; you can't have it," before returning to the make-out session.
The advocacy group One Million Moms launched a campaign protesting the ad to Wrigley, arguing "not only is it disgusting, it is taking lightly the act of bestiality. While the shock value of this ad may draw attention to your product, it is harmful to children."