Jack in the Box released their “Jack’s Bowls” ad campaign to quite a bit of backlash, with many feeling that, at the height of the #MeToo movement especially, this campaign probably wasn’t the smartest marketing decision.

This leads to a broader discussion of comedy in marketing, and the fine line you often walk when you employ it.

Read the full story: https://www.adweek.com/agencies/jack-in-the-box-just-launched-one-of-the-most-tone-deaf-ads-of-the-metoo-era

Watch the full episode here: https://marketersdrinkingbeer.com/show/003/

Video Transcript:
– So I read an article this week, not this week, but earlier in the month that was very timely as we were launching this new website and developing a lot of content and it was really about humor in advertising and marketing and they were referencing a recent campaign, by Jack in the Box, the fast food burger chain, which was coming out with their new bowls.

– Oh, bowls

– Bowls

– Bowls, with a w. Oh, I’ve got that wrong

– People were really excited to taste Jack’s bowls. And there was a lot of comments about

– This is great in the MeToo era, right? Yeah, they’re talking about that.

– It was an interesting article because, you know, I’ve been known to laugh at some very sophomoric things

– It’s true.

– And yet, I watched the ads and there’s a part of me that thought, you know, humor is a fine line, you know, especially and again as I was mentioning we were develop, trying to find the voice of our website and the tone that we wanted to have, from a differentiated thought leadership, all those, you know, marketing angles. And you know, we had to ask ourselves, do we want to have a funny humorous tone versus just this software checkbox, you know, datasheet, death by PowerPoint

– Yeah

– You know, website and you know we actually had a discussion internally about this because you know you can very quickly go to the humorous side and it can be almost lazy marketing, right? It’s cheap and lazy, it’s easy to kind of go down

– Dangerous.

– Yeah

– Dangerous is right.

– It’s dangerous because again, it’s like an email, right? We’ve all learned this lesson, how to be careful of your tone in your email, what you think is funny or how someone else reads it is totally different. And we just decided to be like, how it impacted us from a website, we wanted to have a strong voice, but we didn’t want to be humorous to the point that it could be misinterpreted.

– Yeah

– Yeah

– Or, those guys are, you know…

– And that’s the right, the right approach.

– We were looking at this ad and I showed it to the team you know, in the sense of I’ve certainly got to be sensitive in the MeToo era, which a lot of commentaries come out negatively against, you know Jack in the Box. And maybe it’s playing up to their audience from a burger demographic standpoint in that Jack in the Box certainly pushes it, you know with Carl’s Jr and everything. But it was a really internal discussion. A really positive internal discussion that forced us to think what voice do we want to have as a brand? How do we want to convey ourselves?

– Yeah, that’s great.

– Where should we be careful of?

– Yeah

– And sometimes you have to be informative, and you can be strong, but not to be lazy.

– Yeah, and we’re out of time, good stuff. Two minutes goes by quickly, doesn’t it?

– That was good?

– Yeah I think so.

– I like your timer.

– So do I have to time myself? I don’t think that’s fair.

– I’ll time you.

– Okay, you can time me.

– Now I know your passcode.

– Yeah, no you don’t. Oh yeah you do, you saw me type it in, okay. So, big show coming up for Hubspot. Due to release some major new stuff at inbound.

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