Driving around in the car yesterday we heard a couple of talk show hosts, KEX’s Mark and Dave, tackle a pressing question: Is the new Carl’s Jr. “Spicy Burger” Paris Hilton ad soft-core pornography or savvy marketing?
Though we hadn’t seen the ad, we figured that if the Parent’s Television Council disapproved of it, we’d like it. And then—praise God!—last night the ad appeared while I was watching a recording of the final two-hour “24” episode.
After several watchings of a scantily-clad Paris Hilton washing a Bentley and chomping on a burger to the tune of “I love Paris in the spring time,” I concluded that a Victoria’s Secret ad is considerably more provocative. However, I’ll have to force myself to watch both of them few more times to be sure.
Which confirms the point made in a Business Week online article about the ad: if you don’t like something on television and want it to go away, ignore it. The more fuss you make about it—raunchy! sexually graphic!—the more you’ll drive people to see it.
Laurel spoke truly when she said, “If the ad had used violence to sell burgers, nobody would have a problem with it.” Yes, the United States is puritanical about broadcasting sexuality while Europe is reticent to show violence. Video-game makers have to put bikinis on topless women for the American version, while blood and guts have to be toned down for European consumption.
It’s strange that the Parent’s Television Council is making such a fuss over the Carl’s Jr. ad, calling it “the ultimate example of corporate irresponsibility,” when I saw the ad while watching Fox’s “24.” Broadcast over the public airwaves, “24” is a great show. A violent great show.
Recently I’ve seen a man’s fingers broken one by one until he talked (first, he screamed). I’ve seen a man shocked with electric wires stripped from a lamp in order to get him to talk (he also screamed first). I’ve seen a man shot in the knees to, you guessed it, get him to talk (getting people to talk is a top job on “24”).
And all of these nasty acts were committed by Jack Bauer, one of the good guys. The Islamic terrorists Jack was trying to stop were even nastier.
But apparently impressionable kids aren’t going to have their psyches disrupted by watching government agents torture people. If they see Paris Hilton spraying herself with a hose, though, watch out! Who knows what might happen?
Why, as a vegetarian, I’m worried that they could eat more hamburgers. That’s the sort of flesh-peddling that bothers me—selling carcinogenic saturated fat-laden animal carcasses.