Is the Burger King ad offensive?

Since the first time I saw this ad, I immediately felt a sense of uneasiness and wondered if some mental health organization would take offense to it. So, when I saw in the Washington Post that there’s an article, Burger King ad featuring its mascot as crazy offends mental health organizations, I figured I’d post something about it.(Another blog has written about it, too.)

The ad in question features the mascot King running maniac . . . er, psychot . . . er, quickly through an office building. He breaks a window pane, gives a befuddled-looking woman a Whopper, then is tackled by two white-uniformed medical types. The King is “crazy” and “insane,” the medical types explain, because he wants to give away his meat for the low, low price of $3.99! (Washington Post)

Watching the ad did trigger in my mind an image of psych ward attendants suppressing a patient that’s trying to escape. I’m not sure if that’s what the Burger King ad execs were thinking about when they made this commercial, but I think it’s pretty darn clear that “the King” represents some sort of an unstable escapee. I’m not trying to be some lady who is always looking to point out political correctness or whatever, but should an ad really make a person immediately think of a reference to mental illness anyway? I wasn’t looking to criticize; it just made me think about it just from watching it mindlessly on tv.

Whether I was offended or not is one thing, but I also didn’t think the ad was funny. And I can’t really remember what they were trying to sell me (well, naturally, a  burger….).

Any thoughts?


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