I’ve noticed that when I watch commercials, the fast food ones are the ones that really stick out to me. For some reason, I always feel that there is a deeper meaning to their commercials.
I have come to the conclusion that from the three major fast food chains here in the America, I have been given this message from them through their commercials. Not all their commercials portray the same message, but there’s a trend that I have noticed.
I may be crazy… or maybe I’m on to something. Let’s take a look at what I have found.
McDonald’s is the top fast food chain in America. It’s very popular and very recognizable. Yet for the past several years, I avoided it. For some reason, I don’t think I belong there anymore. Maybe it’s their cleaner looking ads or their happy colors, but something about it struck me.
Then I realized that their commercials, or at least the ones that stood out to me, feature the same kind of people all the time: preppy, happy people who love the movie “Juno” and “Garden State” and listen to Jason Mraz during the weekends. Don’t know the name for those kinds of people, but the commercials suggest to me that this clean restaurant is only for those people.
This 2011 commercial I saw and I don’t get. The people who do this hand dance really confuses me and looking at the people in it, it looks like they’re privileged folks who live in safe neighborhoods.
One of the things that caught me about this commercial is that this McDonald’s looks way too fancy. It’s really clean and like every McDonald’s commercial, everyone is dressed so nicely. It seems like it’s something out of a clean suburban neighborhood. It’s way too clean… like something I don’t belong to.
I can understand that McDonald’s wants to give off a clean image… but to do it where it’s too unrealistic and that it really only caters to a certain group of people is not the right way to do it.
McDonald’s now to me has become a classist place. Only a certain group of people can come in: those who dress well and have money. It’s not what they’re about, but their commercials say otherwise.
BK has been one of those restaurants that try to show their hardcore ways by promoting their flame-broiled burgers. Their commercials are voiced by a man with a raspy voice and in their commercials, I really only see men in it.
There are only a few women in this commercial but the main one is used as a sex object. More importantly, this commercial suggests that only men have jobs to go to in the morning and they are the only ones that can do this march and have breakfast. It’s not the first time they’ve designated a song only for men.
Somehow this guy isn’t man enough to handle his burger because he has tiny hands. Only men with big hands can eat at Burger King.
And come to think about it: When was the last time you saw a Burger King commercial narrated by a female or even starring one? Burger King is food ONLY for MAN.
Jack in the Box
Out of all the three, this is my favorite place to go. Their 24-hour menu is sweet and their food is uniquely different. It is the most down to earth in terms of its commercials because Jack is a family man and he connects with so many different people.
But in some of his commercials, he promotes some very not so responsible behavior.
In this commercial, the driver is clearly on drugs and he’s driving. Both a bad sign. The fact that Jack is endorsing such a commercial shows that he is OK with such behavior. But also, he is promoting that he’s there for you when you got the munchies.
I suppose Jack’s audience are stoners that get the late night munchies. I have nothing against people that are smoking weed, but I don’t know if I am OK with them hanging around late at night. But I suppose if they hang out at Jack, it’s OK. I just won’t be there at the same time.
But still, despite all that, Jack still makes funny commercials and to me it’s very inviting. Way more than the other two which makes me feel that I don’t belong (McDonald’s) or that the food is only acceptable for half the human race (Burger King).
Am I totally reading too much into this or am I just way too hungry for a fast food burger now? I wish White Castle was around here in the Bay.