Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Animal slaughter makes for a clever advertising gag

Corporations are notoriously cautious about doing or saying anything that could be construed as controversial, so you might think fast food restaurants would want to steer clear of commercials that made a connection between their food and the slaughter of animals.  Guess again. Chik-fil-a has turned animal slaughter into a gag by creating cartoon cows that try to save themselves from the slaughterhouse by going around and encouraging people to eat "chikin" instead of beef.  The campaign uses Holstein dairy cows instead of steer because, in the company's words, Hosteins are "more lovable than other cows."  These lovable, goofball cows have one madcap adventure after another.  In one commercial, a cow jumps onto a passing minivan and steals the occupants' bags of burgers.  In another, the cows parachute into a college football game and attack the hamburger vendor.    That chik-fil-a is willing to treat animal slaughter as a comic premise for their advertising shows that they think there's very little public sensitivity to the cruelty of factory farms.  Sadly, they're probably right.  The cows have been turned into plush toys, mouse pads, jackets, etc.  They even won an award for favorite icon of 2007.