Digital Gabe
Cutting Edge Commentary On All Things Media

Jack In The Box’s “Bowls” Creative Is A Lesson In Poor Taste

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In this #MeToo era you wouldn’t expect to see a major national brand fully embrace sexual innuendo in its advertising.   But then again, you probably don’t work at Jack In The Box or at their creative agency David & Goliath.  The team just released a risque’ TV ad promoting the chain’s teriyaki bowls and the early reviews aren’t good.  Throughout the ad they use a bowls/balls double entendre – as in “those are some pretty nice bowls”, and “everyone’s going to want to get their hands on Jack’s bowls”.  If you want a full dose of the sophomoric humor you can check out the commercial here.

Industry reaction to the creative has been overwhelmingly negative.  It’s being described as “an ad that celebrates sexual innuendo in the workplace”, and “utterly tone deaf to the times we’re living in now.”  Not exactly ringing endorsements, right?  Amazingly the TV spot even features a lawyer telling the fictional Jack CEO that he can’t mention “bowls” in this context (trying to be the voice of reason), but the joke keeps going on and on.  So you know the marketing team was aware of the controversy this could spark, but plowed ahead regardless.

So far Jack In The Box and its agency are defending the work.  But I wouldn’t be surprised to see the ad get shelved if consumers start reacting negatively to the creative.

 

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