The latest TGI Friday’s promotional material is out, and it’s got some problems.
The ad makes use of a famous viral catcalling and harassment video, in which men vie for a woman’s attentions on the street, but the woman in the original video has been edited out and replaced with TGI Friday’s appetizer food items. The ad literally objectifies this woman—turning her into various objects—as men call out to various appetizer items flirtatiously.
Here’s the whole thing.
The company is emphasizing that this is a lighthearted campaign. “We believe app-calling (not cat-calling) food is a funny premise,” Chief Marketing Officer Brian Gies told Mashable. “Please note that no apps were harmed as a result of this video!”
But this doesn’t really fly. The drastic reappropriation of the video is tone-deaf and absurd. What was once a compelling bit of viral messaging doing wonders for conversation about inequality awareness is now being used to hawk fried foods.
It’s bothersome that a restaurant business should be so tasteless.