China Star Super Buffet campy commercials attract attention and a nomination

WICHITA — Sometimes commercials are so bad they’re good.

That was the idea behind a series of television commercials for Wichita’s China Star Super Buffet, one of which is in the running for the Independent Film Channel’s LoCo Awards.

The awards, which are designed in part to promote the new “Rhett & Link: Commercial Kings” show, will honor the best and most bizarre late-night commercials and their stars.

China Star, which is on Central just west of I-235, made the commercials with the help of Fox Kansas.

“Their goal in this one was designed to be campy so it would make . . . it stand out above commercials and not blend in with average commercials,” says Jeff McCausland, vice president and general manager of Newport Television, which operates Fox and My TV Wichita.

A former Fox employee stars in the commercials, which feature him singing and chatting about China Star.

In one scene of the nominated commercial, he sits in an easy chair that’s reduced to a miniature size and flies over the buffet offerings.

“It’s like the buffet’s right in my house!”

The ads have proven popular, and not only in Wichita.

“It’s obviously gotten some notoriety on the Internet through YouTube,” McCausland says.

Fans can vote for their favorite commercials here.

There’s time to nominate more commercials, including the other China Star ads (such as second and third ones), which may be even funnier than the nominated one.

A New York Daily News story Tuesday reported on New York commercials that are nominated.

“They face stiff competition from hilarious ads for China Star Restaurant in Wichita, Kan.,” along with some other smaller cities, the paper reports.

Judges of the top three finalists will be Rhett McLaughlin and Link Neal, two “friends who travel the country making epic local commercials,” according to the Independent Film Channel where their new show airs.

McCausland says the China Star commercials have been airing for more than a year.

“It would not surprise me if they continue the campaign.”