The web is buzzing about a recent Burger King “chicken wrap” commercial, which features R&B icon Mary J. Blige belting out the ingredients to one of the fast food chain’s new menu items to the melody of her song Don’t Mind.
Blige’s spot is one of five commercials that Burger King has deployed as part of their new marketing campaign: “Exciting Things are Happening.” Jay Leno and David Beckham appear in spots that promote Burger King’s new “garden fresh salads,” and “all-natural smoothies,” while Salma Hayek and Sofia Vergara appear in Spanish-language spots.
Burger King pulled Mary’s commercial from its YouTube, sometime between last night and this morning, yet the other celebrities’ videos remain on the page.
Madame Noire posted an open letter to Mary — “Her Buffoonish Burger King Commercial” — in which the blogger criticizes the award-winning songstress for endorsing — out of every possible food item at a burger joint — poultry.
“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.”
Burger King’s Senior VP of North America marketing, Alex Macedo, told AdAge that the commercials were created to grab attention to the company’s menu expansion.
“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.”
Representatives of Mary J. Blige have yet to respond to theGrio’s request for comments.
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.
Follow Briana Lopes on Twitter at @briananikohl