Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Commercials: Burger King Kids Club

Until 1990, Ronald McDonald and the gang dominated the kid-friendly fast food commercial racket. However, that changed when some new mascots emerged: The Burger King Kids Club Gang.

This group of kids was even more PC than Captain Planet's Planeteers. Burger King was determined to cover every demographic. Here's a rundown:

Boomer, the tomboy: The jock of the group, who always wielded a hockey stick and never took off her roller blades. I could make a joke about her eventually replacing her blades with Birkenstocks, but she seemed pretty enamored with Lingo in one of the commercials I posted...

I.Q., the stereotypical nerd: Pocket protector? Check. Glasses? Check. Wild hair? Check. Huge vocabulary? Check.

Jaws, the token black guy: His shtick was his incredible appetite. His only other memorable quality was his hightop fade.

Lingo, the token ethnic kid: Wow, that name isn't exactly PC. Anyhoo, Lingo was probably the most three-dimensional of the Kids Club gang. He was a bilingual (English and Spanish) artist. I had a slight crush on him back in the day.

Wheels, the token disabled kid: Yet another hilariously unfortunate naming choice. This kid had one pimp wheelchair. He probably tricked it out himself, considering that he was the mechanically inclined member of the gang.

Snaps, the "hot" girl: Blonde, of course. Other than her interest in photography, she exhibited absolutely no personality.

Kid Vid, the "cool" kid/leader of the pack: Most likely the Zack Morris of the group. Was into video games and techie stuff. Eventually he was the lone member of the Kids Club Gang to be used in the commercials.

J.D., the animal mascot: Um... he was a dog.

According to Wikipedia, Token Ethnic Kid #2 was added in the early 2000s: Jazz, an Asian musician (trumpet seems to be her instrument of choice). I had no idea that the The Kids Club Gang still existed at that point, but it's apparently still going strong in the Middle East.

I just realized that there's one missing demographic: the token fat kid. However, from a business standpoint, the omission of such a character is understandable.

The early commercials were pretty high quality, both animation-wise and music-wise. Here's a sampling:



You thought that one was good? This one was featured on the promotional Ninja Turtles VHS movies that came with the kids meals:



And finally, to make up for the lack of my beloved Lingo in the last video, here's his debut:

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