By Sowmya Krishnamurthy
Mary J. Blige is peddling crispy chicken for Burger King and getting a lot of heat for it. Yesterday, the Queen of hip-hop soul was featured in a new ad for the restaurant’s revamped menu in which she sings the praises of the Crispy Chicken Snack Wrap. Standing atop a table, the diva belts out—to the tune of her song “Don’t Mind”– the ingredients, “Crispy chicken, fresh lettuce, three cheeses, ranch dressing, wrapped up in a tasty flour tortilla,” but after public outcry the ad has disappeared from Burger King’s YouTube channel.
The new spot sparked more than its share of online backlash as most fans deemed it selling out and stereotypical and were shocked that Mary would lend her name (and voice) to a sandwich. Fans took to Twiter to share sentiments like, “Just watched @maryjblige singing about chicken in a Burger King ad, and stared the blankest stare of my life” and “Oh @Maryjblige how I LOVE thee..but im not sure about this Burger King ad.”
Hip-hop branding expert and CEO of Translation, Steve Stoute, who has worked with Blige closely on successful endorsement deals like Carol’s Daughter beauty products, shared his disdain. Today he tweeted, “The issue is the burger king commercial is thT these agencies visit culture and then do work that is so in authentic it’s embarrassing.” Upon last check, Burger King had removed the video from its YouTube hub.
Rumors have surfaced that Blige received $2 million for the ad. Other celebrities also promoting the burger house’s new menu include soccer stud David Beckham, actress Selma Hayek and late night funny man Jay Leno.