Wednesday, October 20, 2010

The Canon Review Presents: Commercials with Cartoon Characters Selling Food

Since the beginning of time, or at least the beginning of television, advertisers have used cartoon characters in commercials to shill all sorts of stuff. From credit cards to shoes to insurance to even cigarettes, cartoon characters have been called upon to advertise. One of the most common users of cartoon characters in commercials are the fast food restaurants, mainly because these places target kids with toys and all sorts of other stuff in order to get their parents to buy their food. Of course, you probably know this, as it's really just common sense. Even so, here are a few examples of famous cartoon characters selling food to consumers.

Commercial 1: Foghorn Leghorn for Kentucky Fried Chicken - Yep, this commercial features an animated chicken telling people to eat chicken. This 1988 ad features Henrey Hawk trying to capture Foghorn Leghorn because, in his own words, he's a "chicken hawk and [Foghorn] is a chicken". Well, Mr. Leghorn does not want to deal with Henrey Hawk right now, so he tells his tormentor that Kentucky Fried Chicken is the place to get what he craves because they do chicken right. Which brings up the question, how would Foghorn Leghorn know this? Unless he's actually a customer of KFC? In that case, Mr. Leghorn is a terrible individual and a traitor to his species. Or maybe he just likes the biscuits. At any rate, Foghorn Leghorn sends Henrey Hawk on his way by placing him on a frisbee and throwing him into the great unknown. Well, this commercial definitely raises more questions than it answers. At best, Foghorn Leghorn is a small man who is not above selling out his fellow chickens for consumption by humans and chicken hawks, and at worst, he's a cannibal. All I know is that it doesn't really make me want to eat chicken, so I'll give it a 1.35 out of 5.

Commercial 2:Burger King's Kids Club featuring Toy Story Toys: This 1995 commercial starts off with a boy in between two old ladies. While the two ladies are pinching the kid's cheeks, he gets zapped to Burger King via animated remote control, which we later see belongs to a typical "cool kid" from the 1990s. The kid asks if we are looking for somewhere cool to go, then suggests that Burger King is that somewhere cool to go. I highly dispute his claims, as I've been to a few that were far from 'cool'. But I digress. At the time, Burger King was doing what every other fast food chain worth their salt does, and giving away free crappy toys featuring characters from the latest movie with the purchase of a kid's meal. This time, it was Toy Story toys, and believe it or not, I still have two of those Buzz Lightyear toys that came with the kid's meal lying around in my house somewhere. After every kid in the place has a toy, the cool kid cartoon comes back in spouts off some nonsense about the Burger King Kids' Club. This was slightly annoying, so I'll give it a 1.4 out of 5.

Commercial 3: The Simpsons for Kentucky Fried Chicken - Over the years, the Simpsons have sold more crap than a manure factory, so it comes as very little surprise that Homer Simpson would be featured in a commercial based on food. Actually, he's in multiple commercials like this, but this is the first one I saw so I'll go with this one. In this ad, Homer leaves his local KFC with a bucket of chicken and a 7-Up. Homer assumes that the cashier made a mistake by not charging for his drink and walks away happy, but unbeknownst to him, the 7-Up is free, but Homer starts freaking out after spotting the police. In his panic, Homer tries to sneak out of the bathroom window but gets stuck. Luckily, his father Abe is walking by, but Abe informs Homer that the 7-Up is actually free (in Canada only, according to the ad) and to make matters worse, he jacks the chicken and the drink from Homer's fingers. Sucks to be Homer, but it also sucks for Grandpa Simpson because now he has to eat KFC. Just kidding. This wasn't too bad and got the point of the ad across in a humorous manner, so I'll give it a 3.1 out of 5.

Commercial 4: The Noid vs. Domino's Pizza Dome of Quality - In some cases, as this ad from 1987 shows, advertising companies will come up with their own animated characters to feature in commercial. In this case, the Noid was featured in Domino's commercials throughout the 80s with his sole purpose in life seemingly being ruining fresh pizzas. Done in claymation, the Noid was a rather quirky character, with a red jumpsuit and rabbit ears. The Noid seemed like an odd character to feature, but he was all over the place in the 1980s and even got his own video game for the Nintendo called Yo Noid. I'm sure it sucked, but not every advertising icon gets a video game. Anyway, in this commercial, the Noid once again tries to ruin a Domino's pizza, so he gets a baseball bat. But somehow is swing is blocked by an invisible dome of quality that shields the pizza. This raises another question, if the Noid can not penetrate the dome, than can the regular consumer do so in order to eat their pizza? The Noid once again tries to destroy the pizza by running at a high rate of speed towards it, but once again the dome blocks the Noid and he turns into a big pile of clay. I think the Noid has an unhealthy obsession with Domino's and should seek psychiatric help, but I'm only an amateur psychologist. Perhaps I'm just too tired, but I really don't get the Noid's appeal and I wonder why so many hipster doofuses call for his return. I'll give this ad a 1 out of 5.

Well, I think that's going to be all for now. If you have any thoughts about these ads or the products sold in them, then feel free to leave a comment. Also, if you have any ideas for future reviews, then let me know about them either by leaving a comment or by e-mail at

1 comment: