Diversity, Inc., yesterday reported that Burger King “does it right” by pulling its Texican WHOPPER ad following outcry from the Mexican Ambassador in Spain at the ad’s offense. More than a “misstep” as Diversity, Inc. called it, Burger King seems to base much of its advertising on objectifying or setting up power imbalances between cultures.
The Whopper Virgin ads echoed an era of Imperialism, and while I have not seen the farmer/Burger Shots ad mentioned in the article, others I have seen completely objectify and degrade women.
With such a small percentage of the world’s population being Caucasian males, it just doesn’t seem good business sense to create ad campaigns that offend entire groups of people. A miniature caricature of a Mexican dressed in a Mexican flag, doing subservient service type work for a big, strong, white man (who also is represented as a stereotype), seems to me to far surpass offense and move into the realm of racism.
It makes you wonder what the ROI is for the ads. Is the resulting controversy anticipated…part of the strategy to get broader reach for an ad? I noticed many of the comments both on the Diversity Inc. ad as well as the You Tube piece found that ad funny. What do you think?