Jack in the Box's humor isn't funny to everyone.
Jack in the Box has released a new commercial, and AdWeek's David Griner is not pleased. The angered journalist is not the only one offended by the fast food chain's latest promo piece, which plays on the use of the world "bowls." In the commercial, Jack, the big-headed mascot of the restaurant, states that while other fast food places serve the same types of food, he is the only one with "the bowls" to try something different. Product placement arranged the new Teriyaki bowls right at the same level as Jack's testicles, further pushing the "bowl" pun.
The commercial continues on to make several sexual puns. "You've got some pretty nice bowls, but so does Dan," sais Jack to a male co-worker. "Those are some nice bowls," a coy female co-worker agrees. The ad even tries to make a joke of itself, and the promo goes meta when a lawyer stops the commercial and warns Jack that he can't make those types of jokes. "I can't say people love my bowls?" asks Jack obliviously. Adweek tore the commercial apart. "What’s not OK, especially after all the tales of hostile work environments that have been highlighted by the #MeToo movement, is an ad that celebrates sexual innuendo in the workplace," wrote Griner. He argued that sexual quips in the workplace are inappropriate, even for a tongue-in-cheek commercial.
In joint statement from Jack in the Box and David&Goliath to AdWeek, the company wrote, “This ad is a creative and humorous expression around the teriyaki bowl, highlighting how a burger brand such as Jack in the Box has the guts—or ‘bowls’—to go beyond the usual and serve something other than burgers. This ad is not diminishing any movement, and we stand firmly against any form of harassment and value those who have the guts to combat it.”