Over the last summer I recall glancing at the TV and seeing some commercials that featured Jim Perdue. The one that first stuck in my mind was the one where he was on a show and chickens were calling in to ask questions.
Hailed as "Best of the Month" by AdWeek, the chickens clucked away and Jim Perdue was able to understand them, as well as respond to their questions. (Must have been a dry month for AdWeek)
I just thought that alone was simply weird. Why on earth would these animals call up and have a friendly conversation with the very man who would be responsible for their death? So that leads me back to my original statement regarding the disturbing nature of the latest commercials.
Naturally I can't find a link to the ad, so here's the gist of it: Jim Perdue wants the world to know he's serious about selling the meatiest chicken breasts. So what does he do? He walks the halls of the Perdue offices and shows us a wall that displays portraits of the top meatiest chickens of Perdue's past. Of course these chickens don't look like the real thing you see on Perdue's farms, but rather the cutesy Muppet-esque type:
The commercial ends with Jim in a room, ordering a chicken to do another set of bench presses. The chicken looks absolutely terror-stricken as it reaches up for the bar with shakey wings and lets out a groan. (What would Gonzo say if he saw his beloved Camilla being treated this way???)
Seriously, how does Perdue expect to win over customers with that commercial? Are people supposed to eat a cute character they end up feeling sorry for?? To me that cutesy chicken representing Perdue is as effective as having Digger the Dermatophyte offer me a plate of cookies.
Sadly, Lowe & Partners, the ad agency responsible for Perdue offered no explanation. My suggestion to them, however, is to take a few lessons from McCann Erickson, the firm behind Wendy's Ranch Tooth.
As annoying as that Ranch Tooth got after a while, at least it wasn't being suggested that consumers eat him after he was sufficiently tortured by Dave Thomas.
God rest his soul...
In fact, I bet Frank Perdue is probably weeping from beyond at the horrific ad campaign his son is responsible for. Hopefully Dave's not sitting with him and laughing too much. At least his daughter Wendy had the smarts not to mess around with the family business' advertising.