These days, restaurants are doing everything they can to use the Internet as a tool to increase their sales. The most direct way to do this is to get somebody’s email address and blast them with a million emails. I know all of this because I happen to have an email relationship with that bulwark of
extremely authentic adequate Tex-Mex called Chili’s.
I love Chili’s, and can’t help it. I grew up in the suburbs and it was basically my favorite place to eat. So I tolerate their emails in the hopes that one day they’ll give me free chicken crispers for life and I can die a happy man. However over the weekend I got an email for Chili’s that was so dumb that I’m considering going nuclear. That is to say, I might just click unsubscribe.
Let’s look at the ad in question. At the top we see “Take the kids out to eat” written on some sort of digital chalkboard. I don’t know why the out is italicized, but it’s nothing to get upset about. The ad itself is for a free kid’s meal with the purchase of an adult entree. Great. Saves you some money. So far so good.
But I start to get a little leery when I see the graphics. There’s a Chili Kid (whose name happens to be Chip based on my exhaustive research) and a dog. The dog is red, but has a green leg. Oddly enough, there’s a red crayon and a green crayon lying between them. Am I to believe that this dog is just coincidentally the same colors as the crayons? I think not. Based on my careful analysis, I happen to think that this asshole Chip has colored his dog’s fur. That’s messed up, Chip. Also, you’re not wearing pants. I don’t care that you’re a chili. If you’re anthropomorphized enough to wear a stupid polo shirt, then put on some damn pants. I don’t need to think about your habañero.
The worst part of the whole thing isn’t the half-naked chili kid. Not by a long shot. Take a look at the food in the ad. It’s a single chicken breast with a side of broccoli. I didn’t even believe that this could be on the menu, but there it is on the Pepper Pal® Kid’s Menu. It’s called the “Grilled Chicken Platter,” but perhaps they should rename it to “If You Make Me Eat This, I Will Legally Emancipate Myself From You.” Seriously. What kid have you ever known to order a grilled chicken breast with a side of steamed broccoli? It’s deceptive. Chili’s is all “we have healthy choices for your kids!” and you’re all “I’m going to Chili’s because they have healthy choices for my kids!” and then you go to Chili’s and your kids threaten to stab you if you make them eat that grilled chicken platter.
I have nothing against healthy food for kids. In fact, I’m a big supporter. Michelle Obama would be so proud of my feelings on childhood obesity. I have to draw the line, though, when Chili’s pretends that your kids are going to make friends with douchewad Chip and his tormented dog while chowing down on that sad chicken breast and those overcooked broccoli crowns. It’s just not going to happen. Ever. So why pretend?
Chili’s, you’re better than this and you know it. Just be real with us. Trust me, if we’ve signed up for the Chili’s mailing list, we know what we’ve gotten into. And Chip, put on some pants. You disgust me.