Monday, April 25, 2005

Bitterness Paves the Streets


Seth Stevenson's Slate column "Ad Report Card" is usually an entertaining and thoughtful commentary on American television marketing, but this week he takes aim at our Tender Crisp Bacon Cheddar Ranch:
Likewise, Burger King's notorious Tendercrisp Bacon Cheddar Ranch spot—the one with a country song performed by Hootie (of the Blowfish)—tried almost desperately to focus on the sandwich at hand. The song had lots of sandwich-related lyrics, and there were even props like giant onions and buckets of ranch dressing. Of course, all anyone will remember is Darius Rucker (aka Hootie himself), the Dallas Cowboys cheerleaders in skimpy outfits, and the generic spokes-hottie Brooke Burke—all of them thrown together, in a surrealistic stew, for reasons utterly unclear to us and utterly divorced from the product.

Link. Worst of all, this blasphemy comes under the article title "The Last Days of Dada." I think "Ranch" and the rest of the spots Stevenson rails against--sheepboys, Starburst, and Salt-N-Pepa, among others--are less dadaist than surrealist. After all, their symbols have underlying meanings, often Freudian-sexual. Just check out the those ranch dressing girls.

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