Twin Kings

Burger King has a long series of brief tv ads showing (usually) two people, mostly young people (presumably from their target audience), friends, who are enjoying BK specials while bantering and wearing their BK golden crowns. Lots of white males, some white females, and now two young black guys — who happen to be twins. Doing a black “street” style of speech and gesture (including some falsetto), playful and kind of goofy. A still:

You can watch the ad here. On 2016 Burger King 2 for $10 Whopper Meal TV Commercial, ‘Twins’.

My reading of the ad is that it’s doing two things at once: aiming at a young black audience, showing them that they’re welcome at BK and will like it there; and speaking to the rest of the audience, reassuring them that black customers at BK, even young black “street” guys, are unthreatening.

The actors: Demetrius Burrows (in gray, on the left), DeMorris Burrows (in red, on the right).

On names: though Demetrius is, historically, a Latinized version of the Greek name Dimitrios, in the US these days it’s mostly a black name, indeed one of the most common names for young black men (along with DeShawn and DeAndre). DeMorris is another, less common, name with the DeX pattern.

On the characters in the ads: these draw heavily on behavioral and linguistic stereotypes, of bros, California girls, and so on. One ad features an old (presumably married) couple doing a New York Jewish shtick.

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