Tuesday, May 04, 2010

Things I Don't Understand: The Kingsford Charcoal Talking Meat Radio Commercial

Apparently I'm not the first one to spew vitriol about this horrible radio commercial, which is currently on rotation during Dodger radio telecasts broadcasts. I'm horrified at this commercial not only because it's amazingly juvenile in concept (as Dan O'Day does a good job pointing out), or that the accents and terminology make clear that it was a radio commercial better suited to the Northeast (they might as well have said the Kingsford charcoal was "wicked hot").

But go listen to it again (streamed at the above link), and take another listen to how horrible it is.

Aside from the criticisms O'Day pointed out, as well as the fact that the two characters refer to each other as "Burger" and "Sausage" (can you imagine a Nike commercial with the dialogue, "Hey there, Athlete? What's going on?"; "Not much, Baseball Player!"), my biggest beef* with this commercial is this:

Hearing the screaming pain of one's grilling meat (now that this inanimate object has been given a voice, rational thought, and emotions), as the fire sears the flesh of the burger--is NOT the way to get me inspired to buy your product. There's plenty of health and kindness-towards-fellow-animals reasons to consider going vegetarian as it is (not that I've personally ever been very compelled by these, but still). The last thing I need is, as I'm considering grilling up some burgers, is a stark reminder of what it's like to be burned at the stake, brought to you by the company that provides the fuel.

There are a lot of commercials that have personified inanimate objects (see: Geico stack of bills), or even introduced talking inanimate objects (see: Chevron cars). But taking these objects to areas of pain or disfigurement is way beyond the line. There is a reason why we don't see those same talking Chevron cars, fueled by the powers of Techron gasoline, crashing and bursting into flames or causing massive injuries in a multi-car pileup. This is also why the SlapChop hasn't done a commercial from the perspective of the vegetables. Or a nailgun commercial doesn't convey the perspective of the two-by-four.

And this just came to me--McDonald's has personified cheeseburgers (Mayor McCheese) and fries (Fry Guy) before, too. And even made full characters out of them. But what they don't show is Mayor McCheese getting his tongue (palate)? smoked on a hot iron grill, or Fry Guy taking a nice bath in a vat of boiling trans-fat infested oil that hasn't been changed since yesterday morning.

To be fair, the Kingsford Matchlight Charcoal isn't the inanimate object that is actually talking here, that is true. But I also don't recall any Raid or Roach Motel commercials showing animated cartoon bugs regurgitating their guts as their intestines melt into a goopy mess and they die a painful death. It happens, I know. But showing that feature of the product in gory detail isn't appropriate.

I don't need auditory reminders that the meat came from animals. Just let me grill my goddamn burgers and hot dogs in peace, okay? Just for that, I'm going propane.

(*Yes, pun intended; sorry, I couldn't resist as I had been cooking that one for days. Dammit, there it goes again! I'm on fire! I'm sizzling!)

44 comments:

Mr. Customer said...

That ad creeps me out.

Steve Sax said...

edited, partially to add Mayor McCheese and Fry Guy references

Fred's Scarf said...

Ads like this always make me wonder "How bad were the ideas that they turned down?"

Fred's Scarf said...

The smarter thing to do would have been to have the meat scream at first, so you think he's in terrible pain, but then have it morph into screams of pleasure, as if being cooked by Kingsford briquettes was an extremely pleasurable experience for the meat, sort of like getting into a too-hot hot tub

But this would be a rip of a Family Guy bit where they go to brand a cow who at first screams in what seems like pain, but then really likes it and goes for the S&M ball-gag

Steve Sax said...

Well, for one thing, there was the talking immolating briquette one.

But I think they got a lot of heat for that idea.

Josh S. said...

Blow with me, Sausage! Blow!

Also, it makes no sense. Why is the burger relieved to be flipped over? Isn't his other side now being grilled?

My other radio spot pet peeve is the Children's Hospital spot where the woman says they were voted best children's hospital "on a roll". Maybe she should hang out with Burger! (It's "honor roll", but she does not enunciate.)

Mr. Customer said...

One of the voice actors sounds like the same guy who does Irwin the accountant for sit-and-sleep, too.

Greg Finley said...

Is it still a telecast if it's on the radio? :P

Steve Sax said...

good point, Greg. Edited

QuadSevens said...

The Kingsford people must have thought their ad was well done.

Steve Sax said...

Q7, personally I'd prefer if the ad were a little more rare

Josh S. said...

Sadly, writing like this isn't rare for this medium.

Josh S. said...

D'oh!

Jason said...

When it comes to rare puns, Josh got smoked.

QuadSevens said...

This post certainly doesn't skirt the issues of vegetarianism and PETA's involvement.

Paul said...

Really guys? Meat puns?

That ad brings the wurst out of people.

Josh S. said...

Don't be a brat, Paul.

Paul said...

If we wanted to braise the level of conversation we should have waited for the last few comments to start the brewers game thread.

Orel said...

If these puns continue, we'll have to link to them on the main page.

Meaniebreanie said...

I've never heard the ad but after listening to it I now understand Sax's beef. It is one of the most udderly ridiculous things I have ever herd. No bull!

Mr. Customer said...

These are some of the wurst puns I've ever heard

Neeebs said...

Am I the only one here who thinks that the whole issue of the Kingsford ad is WAY overblown?

Come Sax, you can (and have) done better than this.

Mr. Customer said...

Damn, I didn't expect Paul to flank me on the 'wurst' pun.

Mr. Customer said...

Who puts this tripe on the air, anyway?

QuadSevens said...

If we were to strip this ad down to it's basic idea, it would still seem undercooked.

Dusty Baker said...

I go to a few minutes and a damn sausagefest breaks out.

Dusty Baker said...

Dammit, Mr C, "tripe" is MY word.

Mr. Customer said...

@dusty

You weren't around. I thought I'd brisket.

Paul said...

I won't tenderize this topic any further.

Josh S. said...

This has been beaten into the ground. Round up a new idea.

Mr. Customer said...

Hold on, Josh! Let's wait for the Game Thread before we chuck it.

MR. F said...

Relax, Josh. Don't have a cow, man!

Jason said...

You guys crack me up with how hard you try. Tip of the cap to you all.

QuadSevens said...

Our fascination with puns is Grade A stuff!

Mr. Customer said...

We keep coming back to the same old pun shtick. Veal never learn...

Josh S. said...

This is why I like SoSG. It's laughter house.

Mr. Customer said...

Stepping out for a bit, but I'll be back when this last chore is over.

Steve Sax said...

Enough of these puns, you guys. You're all starting to shank it.

Steve Sax said...

@Neeebs 1:34p: Honestly, I find this radio commercial insipid and annoying. And I turn off the radio when it comes on.

As for other topics I Don't Understand, you can hit the TIDU label and see if the other points are also rant-worthy.

Steve Sax said...

Oh and by the way, if Kobe gets to the line late tonight (Game 2 vs. Utah) in a tie game,...

...I hope he doesn't briquette.

Mr. Customer said...

Sax, you have to admit that last one was prime. Rib if you must.

QuadSevens said...

I had wanted to write a puzzle type pun, but it was too tough.

Jason said...

Now the puns are getting gristly.

Greg said...

I whined about this in a game thread awhile back. I wrote that it was as if the commercial was written by a five year-old. It seems a lot of ocmmericals are like that now. Who signs off on this crap?