I love it when I see ads that have multiple meanings beyond what the advertiser’s were intentionally depicting. It’s a bonus when they are clever enough to employ a second image in how it’s presented.
Here’s one in my hometown of Denton, Texas with an ad for Babe’s Chicken Dinner House
With the Christmas season upon us, the private sector is always trying to make a connection between their product and services with this popular holiday. In the heart of the bible belt here the connection is often one that tries to show the commercial interest with the true “reason for the season”, as this billboard sign does as it displays the manger scene where the baby Jesus is surrounded by mom and the step-dad and the 3 wise men.
This one for Babe’s also has the subtle message that one of the most popular “babe’s” in history and the chicken dinner house’s name have something in common.
I’m sure the intent here is that when you think of the baby Jesus this time of year, you will also think of the Babe’s Chicken Dinner House ad that exploited the manger scene to promote southern fried cuisine as you make plans where to eat later that evening.
It might be worth noting too that there are no animals in this depiction of the manger scene. It’s probably not in good taste showing animal meat before they’re slaughtered when you’re trying to make a connection between the reality and your wishes for the season. Also, an ox and ass are hardly representative of the product that Babe’s serves.
And what about the written message directly above the Babe’s logo?
“Behold, the King of Kings”
Could this be referencing a super size dinner at Babe’s as it is also refers to the “new born king”?
Yes, this billboard ad has some subtle and subliminal messaging going on. But it may backfire if those who choose to eat at Babe’s also have some reservations about stuffing their face as they are reminded of one of this season’s primary messages that it is better to give than to consume, or something along those lines, as millions go without basic nutritional sustenance around the world.
Or it could well inspire those to acknowledge the little prince of peace as they sit at their table and feast. “Praise Jesus and pass the mashed potatoes and gravy”.