Failed Ad Campaigns
Ads are constantly getting pulled because of unintended consequences. Some of the more common reasons for a commercial to get taken off the air are for false advertising or offending a group of people. Taco Bell had to pull a television spot, because they were getting negative press claiming the ad “discouraged people from eating vegetables”. Cigarette ads were completely banned by Richard Nixon in 1970, because of pressure from public health advocates.
Then there are the ads that are extremely popular and become synonymous with the product. Slogans like “Where’s the beef?” have gone down in pop culture history. Jared’s Subway Diet became a fast food restaurant’s crowning achievement for over a decade. Verizon’s “Can you hear me now?” worked its way into everyday vernacular. Dr. Pepper has had more hit songs than some bands.
Let’s not forget about the commercials that looking back on, after a number of years have passed, we can’t help but asking, “What the heck were they thinking???” Did Snickers really try to market themselves as a meal replacement? Do you remember those jean commercials with a woman rolling around on the beach in their swimsuits? Yea, that was a jean’s commercial.
The following sketches are quick mini commercials that I created to poke fun at a few of the more famous advertisements that have appeared on television.
Dunkin Donuts: America Runs On Dunkin
The inspiration for this parody came to me after visiting a Dunkin Donuts in New York. They were really pushing their coffee and their advertisement campaign was focused on this morning beverage. I imagine this comes from the popularity of Starbucks and restaurants like McDonalds attempting to be more competitive in the coffee market. However, Dunkin Donuts will always be about the donuts (It’s in their name!). This got my mind wandering onto the obesity epidemic and our unhealthy/fast eating habits. From there, I jumped to our obsession with appearance. The sketch had worked itself out in less than a minute. I guess this is one of the advantages of having ADD, I tend to jump and connect ideas rather quickly. Even when they are barely related.
Taco Bell: Make A Run For The Border
Taco Bell is and will be the butt of many of my jokes and is ripe for my comedic sketches. This fast food “Mexican” restaurant has set itself up for many publicity nightmares. From racist ads, to a meat filling scandal, they almost make it too easy. I also feel Taco Bell is as close to Mexican food as Little Caesars is to Italian. That is why I went with the “Make a run for the border.” parody commercial first (There will be others). They are an American restaurant, selling low quality fast food. Poking fun at the always hot political topic of immigration and the bad stereotypes that go along with it seemed like a natural comedic fit.
*This sketch has received some mixed reviews. Most people thought is was extremely funny, but a few found it offensive. The thing about comedy is that sometimes you have to push the boundaries. The important thing for me is that the jokes are not cruel towards any individuals or group of people but pointing out the ridiculousness of situations or ideas that are floating around in our world.