Questionable

11 05 2009

From Kevin Beaudry

This commercial has been around for a while but I recently saw it on
TV again. I remember when I first saw this commercial I thought it
was hilarious, and it still is, but now I feel like the target audience is
questionable. They seem to be marketing to drunk, high kids late at night
and condone driving to their store late at night when you are drunk. I know it is
just a joke but I wonder if parents would be mad about this advertisement. On the other
hand, this ad works very well in not only grabbing the viewers attention but getting them
to laugh and tell their friends about it.

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4 responses

17 05 2009
Scott Fogel

I’d like to leave a rebuttal in response to some of the previous commenters. Firstly, Jack in the Box knows exactly what they’re doing. Anyone who has been to a local fast food place or even some of the Eugene 24-hour spots like Burrito Boy knows that after 1 AM, at least 50% of the late night customers are on something. I mean, how many sober people really go to burger king or jack in the box at 4 AM?

I’m surprised it’s taken this long for restaurants with 24-hour menus to start marketing to this demographic. Taco Bell, with their ‘fourth meal’ campaign, have also started to market this time slot heavier than past times as well.

Secondly, I’m not sure this ad is as ‘outrageous’ in 2009 as it would’ve been 30 years ago. Attitudes towards marijuana use have rapidly been changing in the past fifteen years. In fact, the newest Zogby poll indicates that for the first time, a majority (52%) support marijuana legalization. That’s a huge step up from the last poll in the 1980’s, when only 30% were in support. Simply put, the idea of getting Jack in the Box while high isn’t exactly a shocking revelation anymore, because it’s becoming more accepted by the mainstream.

Jack in the Box’s goal isn’t to protect the morality of America, or to shame those who are hungry and inebriated. Rather, they’re simply playing off the reality of their late-night business. If you don’t believe this is going on, go into Burrito Boy at 3 AM on a friday and get back to me.

Instead of ignoring this reality, I think they’re ahead of the curve by recognizing their real demographics and appealing to them. Mothers in Kansas who are offended by stoned teenagers getting tacos at 2 AM don’t come to the 24-hour window anyways.

Much like the uproar over the sexed-out Paris Hilton ads for Carls Jr, I don’t think the management of these companies care. Those who are angry aren’t the target audience in the first place. Whatever your position on the morals of smoking weed or drinking alcohol, it’s ignorant as an advertiser to pretend like this demographic doesn’t exist, or patronize your firm. Good companies find a way to reach out to all of their constituents, and this is just another example of that.

17 05 2009
Ryan Janoff

I agree that this ad is a little questionable. I remember seeing the ad run and my immediate perception was that the ad was directed towards stoners. To me, marketing towards that specific audience doesn’t seem very appropriate for a company. Good point about the driving too; I think in all this was not a very smart choice for the company. This commercial seemed to outrage a lot of people as well. Here is a link I found about community members joining together in protest of this commercial: http://www.jointogether.org/news/features/2007/coalition-leaders-take-stand.html

12 05 2009
Chaz Faulhaber

I remember this ad confusing me the first time I saw it, mainly because I wondered, “Did they really just put that on television?” I wonder if this helped them sell their tacos. I also wonder about the time of day that this ad was run, because I feel like I remember seeing it a bit after dinner, which would tend to be around the time that most people in these similar situations might strike out for some nomadic munchies.

11 05 2009
Scott Rousseau

I agree with you about the target audience. The guy in the commercial acts like he is on some sort of substance, whether that be drugs or alcohol, who knows. This is very funny and appealing to high school and college kids who usually go get a “fourth meal” as their late night munchies kick in. Many of us have been there, but you did bring up a good point on if the guy is messed up, why is he driving? I think the advertisement could have been made a little different if there was a “sober” driver, and then there was a ton of intoxicated passengers who all get excited about the 99 for 2cent deal or something. Either way, the ad is effective in being humerous and getting it’s promotion across.

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