What Were They Thinking?

And by "they", I mean anyone who had anything to do with this commercial. 

My honest first impression before I could even begin to process anything else was how incredibly bad this commerical is. It's just really, really bad. The lighting, the wardrobe, the hair, the concept. I've seen people on YouTube put together better productions with just a video camera and some really clever editing. There are a lot of things that I don't know, but I can almost guarantee that this is one commercial that won't be winning a CLIO award anytime soon. Or ever.

Burger King should demand their money back from the advertising agency that put this monstrosity together, fire someone in their marketing department for greenlighting it and then can that person's boss just on principle.

Fortunately for us all, the ad has been pulled by Burger King due to licensing issues (um-hm).

The Mary J. Blige Burger King chicken wraps ad that’s got black folks on the net buzzin’ has been pulled. That’s news most of you may already know. But what you may not suspect is why it was pulled.

Conventional wisdom says it was because of the negative reaction from black folks, it’s intended audience. However, according to Burger King, it was pulled because of music licensing issues — not criticism of the ad.

The spot debuted this week and in it, Blige sings soulfully about chicken snack wraps.

Burger King said Tuesday the commercial was pulled because of a licensing concern. The company, reports TheAP, said it hopes to have the Blige “ads back on the air soon,” though a spokeswoman would not comment on whether they ads would be the same.

As the video went viral, some in the black community criticized it as stereotypical.

Madame Noire even posted an open letter to Mary J. Blige entitled “Her Buffoonish Burger King Commercial.” The letter/blog criticizes Mary for participating in the commercial, saying that the advert was a purposeful blow about Black people.

“Having a black woman sing about chicken was no mistake,” writes Renay Alize, “they’re trying to reach the ‘urban’ (aka black) demographic and they used you.”

The VP of North American marketing, Alex Macedo attempted to explain the move and justify the ad campaign.  “The big challenge is how do you really grab people’s attention?” Macedo said, “And, most of all, how do you get them to taste the product? We chose celebrities to get people’s attention faster and to show the diversity that we have with our brand.”

Burger King’s new ads come in direct response to its declining sales. Last month, food industry research firm Technomic announced that Wendy’s had dethroned the Burger King for the first time ever, becoming the country’s second most popular burger chain.
I do find it telling that when David Beckham did an ad for the same campaign, he didn't appear in his athletic incarnation. He stood on his name and face alone. 

The Mary in this commercial is the Mary of yesteryear--the Mary that first burst onto the scene with What's the 411? way back in 1992.  So why did Burger King chose to give us that version and not the Mary J. Blige of the 21st-century that has grown and matured both as a woman and an artist? 

Yeah...like we all don't already know the answer to that question. 


  1. Who'd win in a Chicken Shilling Death Match: Burger King Mary, or Popeye's Chicken Annie?

  2. So now only non-blacks are allowed to do chicken commercials? If they paid me $200,000 (or whatever it was that she made) I would sing about chicken AND watermelon. This is a case of people being overly-sensitive.

    As for the commercial's poor production values, I agree with Cinnamon.

    1. If they paid me $200,000 (or whatever it was that she made) I would sing about chicken AND watermelon.

      *dead* So would we all for $200,000. We need it. We ain't got it.

      What's Mary J's rich ass singing about chicken for?

      I see where both of you are coming from, but I think Cinnamon just feels this was beneath the R&B icon. It would be like Jill Scott doing a tampon commercial or Rihanna singing about vacuum cleaners.

      Now, if some broke-ass, no-name newcomer was doing this ish for $200,000, I think Cinnamon would understand.

      Sheeeit...for two hundred grand???? I'd even tap dance while I did it.

    2. I'm in agreement, Guaria. I don't see the big deal. All I know is that I don't eat at BK and Mary J singing about chicken wraps ain't gonna make me start eating there either.

      *snort* Rihanna singing about vacuum cleaners. Umbrellas, though...I understand.

  3. This^. I just don't understand why Mary would do the commercial in the first place? Is she strapped for cash? Mary has been in the game too damn long to even consider something like this. Now Mary claims she never signed off on the version that was aired. Again Mary: Why in the hell were you doing a Burger King commercial to begin with?

  4. Here's an article on Colorlines about the commercial. Word is she made a cool 2Million dollars--> http://colorlines.com/archives/2012/04/watch_mary_j_bliges_new_crispy_chicken_commercial_burger_king_pulled_video.html

  5. To be honest I couldn't even watch it in it's entirety. You know those skits like they perform on Key & Peele, well I thought it was a joke. Now I don't have a problem with people doing what they have to do for money but come on. Mary isn't anywhere near broke. You say that Mary didn't have any creative input in the commercial...possible. You say she didn't sign off on this particular version...possible. You say they switched out which version they would show...possible.

    You say Mary didn't realize that black people were gonna yell fowl (pun intended)...I say bullshit.

    Come on now, Mary is not that dumb. If she is, then her people are not that dumb. All I know is somebody messed up.

    Now I have nothing against chicken, talking about chicken, selling chicken, or seeing black people eating chicken on t.v. But singing about chicken like it's the love of your life...SMDH.

  6. AHEM...


    But seriously, the fuck was she even thinking???

    1. LOL! Okay that brother in the first clip was highly perturbed. Classic!

    2. IKR??? "fuck this broad and fuck my happy coworkers. I hate this job". It reminds me of that one clip from The Office, where Steve Carrel was talking about "Owning people" and they zoomed in in the black guy's(I don't watch the show) face. Too funny for words.

    3. CendellaApr 22, 2012 04:16 PM
      Oh yeah, that's Stanley. He constantly has that look on his face. You're right the dude in the faux commercial had that exact same look, like...what is this shit? This can't possibly be happening?

      Mary, oh Mary. How the mighty have fallen.

    4. this video is so funny, especially when the guys are steppin at the park

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