People aren’t happy with the new Jack in the Box commercial

The burger chain Jack in the Box has recently drawn criticism for its new TV commercial. The ad for the company’s new Teriyaki Bowls riffs off the word “bowls” and features not-so-subtle references to male genitalia.

The commercial sees its mascot Jack carrying his bowls—referencing balls—around the office while boasting about their size and delicious taste. His colleagues, who are also seen carrying teriyaki bowls in their hands, join in the jokes, such as “everyone’s going to want to get their hands on Jack’s bowls.” The commercial then cuts to Jack gets called in by HR management, who tells him, “The lawyers aren’t comfortable with the new marketing campaign.” Jack, however, doesn’t see any problem with it.

People aren't happy with the new Jack in the Box teriyaki bowls commercial

It’s not surprising that in the #MeToo era that the commercial was immediately met with media backlash. The ad’s wink-wink attitude is upsetting people during a time when many are coming forward about sexual harassment in the workplace. And a couple months ago, Burger King Russia posted an ad offering free lifetime burgers to women if they got impregnated by World Cup players.

AdWeek calls the Jack in the Box commercial, “one of the most tone-deaf ads of the #MeToo era.”

However, Jack in the Box (and their ad agency, David & Goliath) insisted the ad is not diminishing any movement, and stand firmly against any form of harassment.

The commercial remains online for now and YouTube commenters are, of course, debating both sides of the argument there. Watch it below and decide for yourself:

Jack in the Box Teriyaki Bowls: “Jack’s Bowls”

As part of the campaign, trucks wrapped with a “Only Jack Has the Bowls” message will park near competitors such as McDonald’s, Burger King and Carl’s Jr. The creatives at David & Goliath certainly had no shortage of ball jokes. In fact, the ad’s YouTube summary included 13 additional taglines, including “Taste my bowls,” and “Get your hands on my bowls.”


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