2014's fast food atrocities
Burger King's black cheeseburger: Made with squid ink and bamboo charcoal, arguably a symbol of meat's destructive effect on the planet. Only available in Japan.
I’m a white woman who doesn’t need to be asked twice to buy a Toyota (I’ve happily owned two Corollas), so maybe I’m not supposed to get it, but the car company’s new campaign to attract female African-American buyers strikes me as rather curious. Toyota will spend $5 million on print, radio and online advertising intended to drive professional black women to a Web site, iflookscouldkill.com, where they can play an interactive game involving, fashion, espionage and a fully loaded Camry. Of course.
“In the game, which makes its debut today, Bianca, a good-looking assistant designer at an urban fashion house, finds herself — and her new 2009 Camry — enmeshed in a world of espionage … Naturally, Bianca’s unwitting involvement in spy tradecraft will be assisted by Camry’s onboard Bluetooth, navigation and push-button ignition system, all features that will be ‘seamlessly integrated’ into the content,” said Susan Bonds, president of 42 Entertainment, which created the game. (My favorite comment at Gawker: “They should be careful. Last time black women, espionage and fashion collided, Grace Jones tried to beat the crap out of Roger Moore.”)
Now, there are definitely some things to like about this campaign. The interactivity is nifty in theory, and it’s cool to see a major corporation recognizing that professional African-American women (who have historically had almost zero interest in Toyotas) are a demographic worth courting. As Monica Warden, account director for the company that handles Toyota’s advertising to the African-American market, says, “When you think that someone actually cares enough to make their product relevant to you, it can change your mind.” But, having played the game for about 10 minutes, I’m stumped as to how it makes the Camry relevant to black women between 25 and 40 who make at least $70,000 a year. Game play involves watching lengthy videos of Bianca working, hanging out with her hot boyfriend and talking to her nana on the phone, after which you’re asked to “help” her with a spy task — by clicking on some incredibly obvious clue. That takes two seconds, and then you sit through the next lengthy video. Yawn.
If the goal is to get 9-year-old girls to tell their moms to buy Camrys, Toyota might have something here — I could maybe see preteens getting into the story of Bianca and her high-fashion job and that hot boyfriend. But I really can’t see a 35-year-old professional becoming addicted to this game — or even playing it for as long as I did. And I didn’t even get as far as using the onboard navigation.
Kate Harding is the co-author of "Lessons From the Fatosphere: Quit Dieting and Declare a Truce With Your Body" and has been a regular contributor to Salon's Broadsheet.More Kate Harding.
Domino's Specialty Chicken: It's like regular pizza, except instead of a crust, there's fried chicken. The company's marketing officer calls it "one of the most creative, innovative menu items we have ever had” -- brain power put to good use.
KFC'S ZINGER DOUBLE DOWN KING: A sandwich made by adding a burger patty to the infamous chicken-instead-of-buns creation can only be described using all caps. NO BUN ALL MEAT. Only available in South Korea.
Taco Bell's Waffle Taco: It took two years for Taco Bell to develop this waffle folded in the shape of a taco, the stand-out star of its new breakfast menu.
Krispy Kreme Triple Cheeseburger: Only attendees at the San Diego County Fair were given the opportunity to taste the official version of this donut-hamburger-heart attack combo. The rest of America has reasonable odds of not dropping dead tomorrow.
Taco Bell's Quesarito: A burrito wrapped in a quesadilla inside an enigma. Quarantined to one store in Oklahoma City.