Carl's Jr. Fetus Ads Creepier Than a Jr. High School Health Film

David Kiley

I've never been quite sure when creepy works as a creative device in ads. But one thing I feel confident doesn't work when the advertiser is selling me food.

Carl's Jr., the fast food chain, launched an ad featuring a fetus, yes a fetus, talking to his Mother about the Spicy BBQ Six Dollar hamburger with jalapenos she's been eating. At one point, the fetus yanks on his umbilical chord to get his Mother's attention like it was a butler's bell. The fetus warns his Mother to go easy on the spicy stuff or he'll come out early. "It Aint For Babies," the voiceover of the ad concludes.

I don't want to be a stick in the special sauce here. But a talking fetus creeps me out, especially for selling me lunch. The other problem here is association. The last time I recall seeing a fetus in an ad, it was created by a right-to-life organization. So, sorry Carl's Jr., but I can't help but associate your product in this case with an abortion. The ads are done by Mendelsohn/Zien, Los Angeles. This is an agency known for pushing the envelope when it comes to taste and appropriateness. I hate fast food joints anyway. But this ad is enough to make me drive into a Jack-In-The-Box.

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