Recording artist Kevin Federline has landed himself in the middle of a food fight by starring in a controversial new commercial that is part of Nationwide’s “Life Comes at You Fast” campaign.
The ad, which will debut during the Super Bowl, features the rising artist paradoxically falling from stardom, going from appearing in a “rap” video to working in a fast-food restaurant.
The CNN story on the ad distills the controversy:
The National Restaurant Association, in a letter to Jerry Jurgensen, the CEO of Nationwide, said the ad ‘would give the impression that working in a restaurant is demeaning and unpleasant.’
The NRA makes a great point. It sounds as though the people at Nationwide have never even eaten at a fast-food (or, as the NRA likes to say, “quickservice”) restaurant, let alone worked at one. After all, quickservice restaurant workers enjoy the following:
1. High wages. Even putting aside lucrative tips for a moment, most big chain quickservice restaurants guarantee a living wage and health benefits.
2. The respect of relatives and peers. You hear about kids leaving high-ranking positions in gangs to work in quickservice restaurants all the time, but never the opposite. Why? Because it’s cool to heat up a hamburger and hand it to somebody in a small paper box.
3. Good eats. Whether it’s low-grade meat, greasy potato slices, or shakes that contain little or no actual milk, quickservice joints provide the kind of meals necessary to keep their workers happy and healthy for many years to come.
4. Great working conditions. Among the many things never found in a quickservice environment: buckets of super-hot grease, mentally unbalanced supervisors, and jittery, disorganized customers who probably can’t even button their pants in the morning without help, let alone order and pay for the particular combo meal that suits their illogical whim of the moment.
Respected rapper Kevin Federline may be known for “keeping it real,” but by contrast, Nationwide’s take on the fast-food industry is clearly “wack”!
UPDATE: The K-Fed video has hit the Web.