Just when I thought the illustration of women in the media, couldn’t get any fouler, Burger King’s new advertisement campaign has literarily left all of us “ mind blown!” I was heading towards a fast food joint with my family, when I noticed this huge poster. “ Fill your desire for something long, juicy and flame-grilled with the NEW BK SUPER SEVEN INCHER.” (Boy, 2009).
This is the real content from a Burger King advertisement. There couldn’t be a better way to sell burgers than selling it in the form of sex. According to research from the University of Georgia, the percent of ads using sex to sell products rose from 15 percent to 27 percent by 2003. 58% of women in a study believe that there is too much use of sex in advertising and more than 40% believe that such promotions pose a threat to youths.
Burger King is an enormous franchise and thus can have a major impact on its target audience. So I realized how important it was for me to raise this concern and write about it on my blog. Burger King’s advertisement effectively creates and manipulates the narrative, layout and copy to create a strong reaction to sexism and vulgarity within its audience causing them to only focus on the nature of the ad, not how much they want to buy the product. Though the purpose of this advertisement is to sell burgers, the image of the women seem to be the central focus of the ad. The strong contrast of colours (brown and pale white) highlights the women instead. Her dark red lipstick stands out as well, which might symbolise desire and temptations.
Along with this, the women is portrayed almost like a doll as she is shown to have pale skin, sharp features and mysterious dark eyes. This brings out the idea that women should be treated as objects and should be providing pleasure to men. The sexual tone of the advertisement is further enhanced by the phrase “ It’ll Blow”, the phrase is positioned in the centre and is written in a large bold font. The slogan captures the attention of the audience and emphasises on the allusion to oral sex. Further controversy was caused due to the disturbing phrases that are used “ fill your desires” for something “ long” and “ juicy”.
The word and images combined together tries to persuade the audience into thinking that they could receive the same amount of satisfaction from this burger as they would from an act of sex. I believe that these type of advertisements don’t convey the right message to their potential audience. Hence, instead of experiencing increase in sales, the company might actually end up losing customers, especially women. The accurate way of advertising these type of products is to make use of the advantage/benefits that the product could provide to the customers rather than objectifying women for it.
Being a feminist, the advertisement not only causes trouble to the role of women, but also brings out a stereotype of men.