Anyone that surfs the web a lot or watches Hulu broadcasts of Comedy Central shows has probably seen the new Jack in the Box 30-second ad called “Marry Bacon.” When I first saw the ad, my thought was, “This is really stupid!” but since I watch re-runs of The Daily Show and The Colbert Report every day, I’ve been seeing the commercial over and over. And I have changed my mind. I now think it is brilliant. Of course, I have been accused of having a very odd sense of humor…
The ad traces the relationship of a boy and his bacon, as he tells his mother he is getting married. “Who’s the girl?” she asks. “It’s not a girl,” he tells her, as her face falls. “It’s bacon!” Then we see a quick montage of him picking out a ring and a corsage with his beloved bacon, and walking down the aisle of the church, whispering “Bacon, you’re beautiful” with love on his face as romantic music plays. The minister says, “You may now eat the bride!” The acting and staging is wonderful, and the ad is an amazing example of succinct and potent storytelling. Plus, it makes me laugh every time I see it. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H4anFpVsbSw
But the ad, created by agencies StruckAxiom and Secret Weapon Marketing, is not popular with everyone. Here are some of the comments I have seen: “This is the most twisted and offensive commercial I have seen in a while” “Disturbing on so many levels” “Worst ever…how sick can one person be?” and “PLEASE get that bacon wedding crap off the air.”
A few comments even suggested that Jack in the Box had a secret gay agenda, and by running a commercial where a man marries bacon they were supporting gay marriage. But some bloggers have weighed in claiming the opposite, that the ads actually hurt advocates of gay marriage by calling to mind things like Rick Santorum’s claims that marriage equality would lead to “anything goes,” such as man on dog action or worse.
Jack in the Box and their ad agencies have a history of quirky and/or stupid ads. I’m pretty sure their strategy is to try to appeal to the young web surfers who are the main consumers of their fare, and not older conservatives or grandmas. The ad agency says, “We considered the digital habits and engagements of fast food lovers. The result: a fully integrated campaign tailored to the needs, desires, and behaviors of the core Jack in the Box audience. Centered at marrybacon.com, the campaign delivers custom mobile and tablet touchscreen experiences, featuring the Bacon Love Meter. Meanwhile, the desktop experience allows fans to create a Bacon Baby.” (!?)
Me as "Bacon Baby"
Although, as I said, I do enjoy watching the ad, I guess I’m not really part of the core audience it is aimed at. So I probably won’t be finding out what the Bacon Love Meter does, or checking out any of the other bacon-related things on their website, such as bacon-themed clothing, (which is apparently sold out) or the special Tumblr page devoted to bacon.
I do enjoy eating a piece of bacon now and then, but I’m not some kind of bacon nut, as some people seem to be. Because along with the bacon burger featured in the Marry Bacon ad, Jack in the Box is also offering, for a limited time, a bacon-flavored shake.
Don’t worry about your diet. You know you want it.