Making Peace With That Terrible, Terrible Mary J. Blige Burger King Commercial


Yesterday, a commercial so shocking, so confusing, so hilarious, and so unacceptable made the internet rounds and accumulated criticism at a rate previously unseen on the Information Superhighway. This commercial, a Burger King Crispy Chicken Snack Wrap advertisement starring the Queen of Hip-Hop/Soul, Mary J. Blige, seemed more like a comedy sketch than an actual spot approved (in all seriousness) by Burger King. While the initial reaction was pure backlash, having passed the 12-hour mark watching, sharing, and discussing the commercial (which has been removed from Burger King’s official YouTube account) has shown me that if you keep pressing “replay,” the way you feel will begin to change.

1. Angry Stage (views 1-15)

  1. Who told Mary that pushing chicken for Burger King was OK? Because it isn’t.
  2. Why is Mary singing these lyrics like her life depends on it?
  3. Does Burger King not have one person who could have flagged this as “the most easily clownable 30-second clip of all time”?
  4. WHY IS MARY STANDING ON THE CONDIMENTS TABLE SINGING ABOUT CHICKEN?

2. Confused Stage (views 16-50)

  1. Who wrote these lyrics and, more importantly, who approved these lyrics? Crispy chicken, fresh lettuce, three cheeses, ranch dressing, wrapped up in a tasty, flour, tortilla. Crispy chicken.
  2. For Mary, is this about the money, or does she actually really love these crispy chicken snack wraps?
  3. Since we can assume she’s never even tasted them, how much was Mary paid to do this?
  4. Was this a poorly timed April Fool’s joke?
  5. Everyone knows Mary went from “so much drama” to “No More Drama.” Is it safe to say we’ve cycled back to “so much drama”?
  6. Who are those kids wearing with The King crowns while raising the roof in the front row? (Also known as “next to the condiments table.”)

3. Tolerant Stage (views 51-80)

  1. Maybe Mary J. just has an elevated sense of humor about this and we’re just being childish?
  2. Leno, Beckham, and Salma also have silly Burger King commercials. Maybe Mary’s just keeping up with the A-list?
  3. I mean, who really is recession-proof, if you think about it?
  4. Did we really have to clown Burger King and Mary J. so hard that they took the video down? Did we? They were just trying to make us smile, while getting us to spend our hard-earned paychecks on a couple treats wrapped up in a tasty, flour, tortilla. CRISPY CHICKEN.

4. THIS IS THE GREATEST COMMERCIAL EVER Stage (81-?)

  1. The lighting in that Burger King is impeccable.
  2. That part where Mary cuts off the manager and asks “WHAT’S IN THE NEW CHICKEN WRAPS?,” leading right into the microphone feedback, is comedic genius.
  3. That breakdown at :21 is kind of the jam, no?
  4. I bet those chicken wraps are so good.
  5. If you haven’t turned a section of Mary’s verse into your ringtone, you haven’t LIVED.

I hear that there is a fifth and final stage around the 600 views mark that cycles back to the beginning and gives you flashbacks of watching The Help, but I haven’t made it there yet. Will report back. Give me until sundown.

Filed Under: Adventures In Advertising

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Rembert Browne is a staff writer for Grantland.

Archive @ rembert