The Quizzical Quizno’s Self Censorship

quiznos.jpgQuizno’s has a history of questionable ad campaigns. Their most recent one featured a commercial in which a sentient oven with a voice akin to HAL9000 commanded a chef to build a Toasty Torpedo. It ended with a perspective shot from inside the oven, and the HAL-oven saying “Scott, put it in me.” Scott shot the oven a baffled/horrified look. And…scene.

And that’s just the condensed variation shown in my market. For a truly horrifying experience, check out the full-length commercial. In this version, Scott is totally on board with humping a red-hot oven.

This ad generated a lot of buzz. And by “buzz”, I mean “vomit”. Google “creepy quizno’s commercials” and you will be treated to a plethora of WTFing over this ad. Quizno’s must have decided it was a bad idea for a restaurant to nauseate potential customers. So they altered the voice-over, but the results aren’t any less weird.

Now, instead of the innuendo-filled line quoted above, the oven says “Scott, I’m waiting for it.” I suppose this could be interpreted in the same dirty way as the original line, but you’d have to stretch pretty hard to do so. And you probably wouldn’t have dirty connotations in your mind unless you’d seen the original version.

All Quizno’s did was alter the line. Everything else about the commercial is the same. So Scott the Chef still gives the oven a terrified look, which is just baffling. Why does the line “I’m waiting for it” frighten him so? It’s disjointed and bizarre and unreal. It’s been transformed from creepy-in-a-weird-German-porno way to creepy-in-an-Eraserhead-way.

I think Quizno’s should’ve stuck to their guns and kept the original. Because now tons of fast food franchises have debuted their own dirty slogans: