Last week the patty melts hit the fan for Carl’s Jr. (or Hardees, if you’re from my neck of the U.S.), when they released a new commercial as part of their new “flat buns” campaign. That is, flat grilled rye bread. But it’s too much to expect the company who brought us Paris Hilton making soapy love to a Bentley to resist anatomical puns about the female body, so it’s really no surprise that their new commercial features this:
Yeah, that’s Teacher getting a little naughty to the tune of a rap called “flat buns.” Here’s the entire 30-second spot:
The ad was a logical next step in the company’s “flat buns” promotion to target their demographic, young males (that stunning deduction based on the Hardees website). The entire campaign includes a cheesy, low-tech website homage to pancake bottoms, copyright attributed the “Itty Bitty Booty Committee.”
The minute the commercial aired, outraged teachers unions were on the case:
“At this very moment, there are female teachers in high school classrooms with 30+ students who are working hard to teach our children so that they can compete in today’s world. It is unbelievably demeaning to every one of them to promote a television advertisement showing a young teacher gyrating on top of her desk while boys in the class rap about her body in order to sell hamburgers!”
I do sort of see their point. I’m going to out myself as a teacher here, and I’ve been at it long enough that I can guarantee if this commercial became a fixture of evening TV, then somewhere, some seventh-grade boy in the back of the class would be rapping about Miss Six O’Clocks. Plus, there’s the disturbing trend of young female teachers being arrested for seducing their male students. (And to that, let me express a whole-hearted ick.)
But then again, students always find something; that’s the nature of teenagers. And companies are going to objectify women to sell products; that’s the nature of advertising to a male demographic. This commercial is obviously intended to be a humorous play on a male fantasy and a staple subject of rap. If anything, I find it more creepy than demeaning — that’s the teacher in me, who has to stand in front of the class — but in the interest of full disclosure, I’ll admit that it also made me giggle. Just a little.
In response to the controversy, CKE restaurants cleaned up the spot this week, editing out the teacher and leaving only the male rappers. Women’s groups and teachers’ groups are pleased, but more than a few bloggers see it as the death of a healthy satire in too easily outraged times. How about you? Is the commercial one more example of the objectification of women in our misogynist times? Or an all-in-good-fun spoof? And one more pressing question: Flat buns or round?