Are Consumers Ready For A Cartoon Edgier Than Charlie Brown?

Is it a mark of progress that our national ads can now feature characters that are far more foul-mouthed and offensive to white bread America than in times past? I'm inclined to say yes. The Times considers the rise of Family Guy characters as beloved ad icons, even for wholesome brands like Coke and Subway. But hey, sometimes they say things on that show that are funny! Times are changing, you see, and these cartoon characters are just acceptable enough to squeeze into the mainstream under the rubric of "edgy." Since this is a hugely popular TV show on the Fox Network that is just the next in a long line of "edgy" cultural moments, you could correctly call this an antiquated discussion (even for the olds). The real question is: will Americans stand for a fat, ignorant cartoon father telling them how to eat their meat?

The Subway chain of sandwich shops used Peter Griffin - a working-class guy with a New England accent - in a campaign at the end of last year that included television commercials and signs in stores.

The ads promoted a new menu item, the Subway Feast, that would appeal to the character if he were real, because it is "a large sandwich with lots of meat[.]"

Considering the advertising history of a man I like to call "Homer Simpson," I think they'll be safe here. Just keep Bill fucking Engvall out of it.

[NYT]