Tuesday, May 05, 2009

Square Butts and CONTROVERSY

So, here's the thing: I find that Spongebob Square Butts commercial for Burger King hilarious. And once more, completely harmless. But of course, it comes as no surprise to me that it sparked some form of controversy. In my opinion, it's a prime example of how over-protective parents are chomping at the bit to freak out about the slightest thing.

However, I'm not a parent myself. Who am I to say what I would want my child to see? That said, I find it hard to believe that the Burger King ad is the worst thing a child could see. Even on prime time TV, there is violence, sexuality and foul language, as well as plenty of thematic elements that shouldn't necessarily be shown to kids. And while I'm sure that many of the kind of parents who are freaking out about the ad do their best to limit a child's exposure to regular television, I'm willing to bet money that most of them do not. There is an overwhelming number of 9 year old boys who have probably seen multiple episodes of 24.

The unfortunate truth that most parents seem to deny is that, unless you home school your kid and hide them from the TV eternally, they're influenced by what's around them. Most kids have heard Sir Mix-a-lot's song and they usually find it funny. And they don't find it funny because of the sexual undertones, at least not if they're still fairly young...

they find it funny because it is about butts. And butts are ALWAYS funny.

So what do you think? Is this commercial too lewd for the child demographic it targets? Or is it simply an example of parents blowing something way out of proportion? In any event, it makes me chuckle.


Sahra said...

best. commercial. ever.

harpermc said...

I think that you are absolutely spot on about the fact that parents who are bent about this commercial probably do little to no limiting of television for their kids and, yes, there are far worse things on the air than this. I also think it is hilarious, but what I find troubling in general is the fact that America allows unlimited marketing to kids under the age of say 10. Television is a dreadful offender in this respect, but is one that, as a parent, I have total control over. Supermarkets, however, are a different matter. Why are all the sugary cereals on the bottom 3 rows with the healthier products on the top rows? What retailers call the "nag factor" -- if they are in eyesight of kids, kids will pester their parents and parents will often relent. Ditto with candy in the checkout lane. Some markets have "candy free" lanes, but not Giant unless you use U-scan which can be a challenge when juggling small children. When it comes to the sleazeball field of marketing crappy food and toys to young children, I certainly have bigger issues than this very funny Burger King commercial!!!