A RESTAURANT CHAIN’S NATION-WIDE AD CAMPAIGN IS GETTING SOME PUSH BACK FROM CONSUMERS
A RESTAURANT CHAIN’S NATION-WIDE AD CAMPAIGN IS GETTING SOME PUSH BACK FROM CONSUMERS — AFTER BILLBOARDS WENT UP ACROSS THE LIMESTONE CITY.
SOME DESCRIBE THE MARKETING CAMPAIGN BY JACK ASTOR’S, AS SEXIST.
BUT THE WELL-KNOWN CHAIN SAYS THE ADS ARE MEANT TO BE CHEEKY AND PLAYFUL.
NEWSWATCH’S MORGANNE CAMPBELL EXPLAINS.
This billboard in Kingston’s west end is getting a lot of attention, with the message: Our patios are like National parks, huge and filled with cougars.
This is just one of two billboards put up by Jack Astor’s around the city… and some people say it’s crossed the line.
“Somebody blew it. Big time.”
Ken Wong is a professor of marketing at Queen’s University.
He says the ads don’t quite fit with Kingston’s demographic.
“Sometimes the desire to be funny and to be creative, to so called break through the clutter,sometimes managements make the mistake of letting that take precedence over the underlying message.”
The cougar reference in this case is to that of a older woman who frequents bars and clubs in order to date a much younger man.
Is it playful marketing or too sexually suggestive ??
“So do consumers actually find these ads rather offensive and to what degree? Well in an effort to find the answer to that question I printed off copies of the billboards and hit the downtown core.”
“I think it’s sexist and and inappropriate. (Why?) Well I think it’s offensive.”
“I mean you gotta laugh you really do have to laugh.” (And you do really know what the references are? “Oh ya, I find it amusing.
If you don’t like it don’t look at it don’t go there.”
“…so I don’t see how that as anything to do with the patio.”
Jack Astors says the ads weren’t meant to be sexist.
In a written statement the company told us …
“We try not to take ourselves too seriously and we’re known to be cheeky, playful, clever and wonderfully unpredictable with our marketing.”
While the ads are meant to be funny … some say this type of humour is demeaning.
Jack Astor’s says it respects its customers and has apologised to anyone who feels offended.
But for now, the ads will stay up.
Morganne Campbell CKWS Newswatch Kingston.