The Burger Chain Sex Wars: Hardee's "Holes" Campaign Is Latest in Juvenile Trend

Last Updated Jul 22, 2009 3:51 PM EDT

America's burger chains are locked in a fight to see who can create the most sexually explicit, annoying ads possible. Hardee's new campaign is titled "Name Our Holes," and it asks people on the street to suggest names for the chain's biscuit holes. Responses included in one commercial include "goody balls," "creamy sweet holes," "cinnanuts" and "ball munchers." I am not making this up.

Ad Age reports that a franchisee who owns 350 Hardee's restaurants has pledged not to run the ads (via Mendelsohn Zien) in his media area, because he finds them beyond the pale.

"Name Our Holes" is just the latest in a string of juvenile sex jokes perpetrated by burger advertisers. A recent Singapore ad for Burger King's Super Seven-Incher featured an obvious oral sex joke. It went viral, naturally.

That followed two entries from Quiznos: a "2 girls 1 Sub" video featuring playboy models "acting"; and an ambiguously gay oven which begs, "put it in me," when it sees a torpedo sandwich.

Slightly less offensive, but nonetheless in the same vein, Burger King earlier this year aired an ad aimed at kids that reworked Sir Mixalot's old hit into, "I like square butts and I cannot lie."

Why is this happening now? As BNET noted July 15, there are signs that fast-food restaurant sales are declining, and advertisers are desperate to catch your attention. One way to guarantee doing that is to produce porn-based advertising. (It worked for American Apparel, after all.) Burger franchises' core customers are teenage boys, not you or I. So until sales pick up -- or agencies learn that they are creating clutter, not standing out from it -- expect to see a lot more of this.

See the Hardee's "Holes" video here.

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