If you want to get depressed about the vapidity of the ad business, check out Olivia Munn's new commercial for Carl's Jr. in which she dons a bikini and stuffs a burger into her mouth while riding a jet ski. This is the same Munn who last year did an animal rights ad for PETA in which she appeared "naked." (And by "naked" I mean wearing a tank top and shorts and then apparently getting photoshopped into nudity.)
Even when she was protesting the treatment of circus animals, Munn couldn't keep it straight. She showed up to the billboard unveiling wearing what appeared to be leather boots. (She also once tweeted that "vegan equals poo.")
OK, so technically you can be against the mistreatment of circus animals and still eat meat or wear leather. But it looks as if Munn is simply going through the motions for money and exposure. She only appears for about 2 seconds in the Carl's ad itself. In the behind-the-scenes video she shivers in a blanket, looking as if she can't wait to pick up her check and leave:
Carl's Jr. -- apparently unfazed that they're using a spokeswoman from America's best-known vegetarian pressure group -- isn't even pretending that they hired Munn for her comic talent. In the same video, Carl's evp marketing Brad Haley says:
We like to work with hot models because they get the attention of our core audience of young hungry guys.This is the same company that hired Miss Turkey (of the country) to promote a turkey sandwich for its other chain, Hardee's.
You can't fault Haley's honesty, but you can fault his laziness. His campaign falls apart as soon as you examine it for anything beyond Munn's curves. Everyone in advertising knows that sex sells, but the best marketers also gloss that with mystery, magic or storytelling that allows consumers to enjoy the sex part without feeling like they're surfing for porn. It's called creativity. It's about having respect for the consumers you're asking to choose your brand. Both of those are absent here.
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