Jack In The Box is known for two things: round, grilled discs of sourdough (rumor has it that Jack feeds the sourdough starter himself every morning) and controversial commercials. Cries of racism, sizeism, and irresponsible depictions of stoners and the disabled are always on the menu when Jack debuts a new commercial. Jack In The Box is regularly accused of making fun of certain groups as he hawks his phenomenal, fatty fried fare. Jack must be a glutton for punishment.
The latest Breakfast Burrito ad from Jack pushes the boundaries of good taste (and I’m not even talking about the burritos: sausage and hash browns smothered with creamy sriracha – a flavor explosion destined to explode all over the front of my shirt). A mini-Jack sits at a table in the boardroom and greets a trio of Latino little people as they file into the boardroom a la Willy Wonka’s Oompa Loompas (maybe I’m just imagining that), complete with small coffee mugs. The conceit is that the Jack Breakfast Burritos are so big, they tend to make the eater look much smaller in comparison. Straightforward.
Hold on. Are we to believe that the characters are in actuality “average-sized” actors holding massive burritos? Judging by the perspective, these burritos would be two-tortilla affairs with more scrambled eggs than I’d know what to do with. And if these little people are actually “normals”, then how big am I? Well, I’m a lot bigger than I used to be, but that’s not Jack’s fault.
The “size” argument is on one side, while there is also a contingent of Jack-haters upset with the depiction of Mexicans. Huh? This is a commercial for breakfast burritos. Which are widely recognized to have originated in Mexico. You know what’s weird? I can’t remember seeing any depictions of Mexicans in a Taco Bell commercial. If you ask me, that’s kinda racist. Never mind that the word burrito translates as “Little Donkey”. Well, at least that’s the politically correct term for it.
This isn’t the first time that Jack has played with perspective. Some years back, he launched the Mini Sirloin Burgers campaign featuring small cowboys and smaller cows. If this sort of commercial offends you, then maybe you shouldn’t be watching TV.