Monday, May 18, 2009


White Castle, you have got to be kidding me.

This is just gross. Is White Castle just trying to think of as many different ways as they can to make me not want anything to do with their food? (To be fair, it's White Castle; they don't need to try all that hard.)

First problem: equating your primary ingredient with an exotic dancer. Worse yet, an exotic dancer in a furry costume. Does White Castle know that there is a group of people out there who find women in pig costumes erotic? Maybe that's just the demographic this ad is trying to cater to. "If you like fucking a chick dressed like a pig, you'll love eating our pulled pork sandwich." Natural leap from one to the other, right? Also weird: the mobile, sentient bag, presumably scouting the strip club for "fresh meat."

That might not even have been so bad if not for the way White Castle pours on the comparisons to sex. Maybe I could have dismissed it as a goofy attempt at humor, but no: here comes the seductive voiceover. I like barbecue sauce, but I can't think of anything that makes me less interested in it than describing it as "come-hither" and "oh so naughty." Hey. White Castle. You make food. You do not make lingerie, marital aids or ED medication. You aren't a chain of shady massage parlors, you aren't a gentleman's club, you aren't even a Westin. You sell food. And when I think of food, I don't want to be thinking about how that food wants me to fuck it.

Even if this ad weren't gross, it's a ridiculous overstatement. Barbecue sauce is naughty? Oh shit, barbecue sauce! Man, this is fucking sinful! I can't believe I'm putting barbecue sauce on something! Especially not on pulled pork, which is only served with barbecue sauce by everyone in existence who serves pulled pork, because that's how pulled pork comes in this country! Go to the head of the class, White Castle, because you are some fucking trendsetters.

Right here is where I'd normally do some bit about "what would happen if other food products advertised like this," but just click the "disgusting sexualization of food" tag at the bottom of this post. There's no more need for satire; there are already ads out there far worse than anything I could come up with. And it's not just food, it's ads in general. I understand that sex sells, but aren't there limits? I'll buy using sex in an ad for Viagra, or even for something like a car. But a woman (I assume) in a pig costume getting drenched in barbecue sauce on a club stage is going to make me hungry for the dead, cooked, actual-pig equivalent? How about a guy dressed as a cow getting hit from above with an enormous square of American cheese? A woman dressed as a chicken getting splashed with egg and pelted with bread crumbs? You're telling me your stomach isn't rumbling right now?

You know what this is? It's the food equivalent of Isabella Rossellini's "Green Porno" series. I have never seen a clip of that show and thought, "Man, I feel like having some sex now." And I don't see this White Castle ad and get hungry. It makes me want to curl up in the fetal position and throw out all the barbecue sauce in my refrigerator before it gets any ideas.