By: Erin Bhagwandat
For quite some time, the well known fast food chain, Burger King, has been known to post ads that may have been looked down upon by many. This ad is one of them. Here they are advertising a new seven-inch sandwich. This juicy, flame-grilled sandwich is filled with cheese, onions, and a beef patty topped with a “hearty” steak sauce. Sounds a lot like something a man would love (seeing as though Burger King’s target audience are men). So why is there a woman on the front cover? What are they trying to get at? There’s a lot wrong with this advertisement, which is why I’ve chosen it for this analysis.
I will start by examining the subjects in this ad and their positions. It is already safe to say that this ad is extremely inappropriate. There is an image of a woman in the ad with a rather shocked look on her face. In front of her is an image of the seven-inch sandwich Burger King is trying to sell. The way everything is positioned in this ad was certainly aimed at putting a specific sexual idea into men’s heads. It also helps that they had written, “It’ll Blow Your Mind Away”, just below. I have taken communication technology all through high school. We learned about creating advertisements and were taught the different ways to use certain fonts in order to get a point across put a false idea into the buyer’s heads. This has allowed me to notice that the words “It’ll Blow” was not written in a large, bold font by accident.
I would not consider this an ad to target women. The image of a woman supposedly “blowing” a long sandwich with the word “BLOW” written below is what attracts men. It is almost as though it is saying the only things men truly desire in this world are women, sex and food. Irrefutably, this ad has combined all three.
It is very likely that many would point out that this is another example of using sex to sell a product. What may not always be apparent to others is the fact that women are often used as sex objects to attract men’s attention. This is actually quite dangerous in today’s society because of the lack of females who actually appreciate themselves for who they are and what they look like. When they see ads portraying women as objects, other women feel as though that is what they must look like to be accepted and feel comfortable. It is also not only the images or what is actually being sold that affects women, but the knowledge of what these ads are doing. Women know the main reason for being used as sex objects in advertisements. Men love to gawk at the attractive females while considering what is actually being advertised. Women in society would feel that is what they need to look like or become in order for guys to stare at them and want them. They want to be considered a “sex symbol”. In this particular ad, younger women are led to believe that those types of sexual actions are perfectly fine and accepted. They may be convinced that those actions are what females with good morals take part in often and therefore would not be looked down upon like it often is.
It is ads like these that stir up a lot of arguments about whether they should be allowed and whether or not using women as objects is completely necessary. In a way it sends out this message that all women are good for is providing pleasure to men. It is not right showing ads like this and using women as sex symbols because in society, these actions that the women take part in are considered slutty and therefore, these women are considered sluts. That is certainly not showing females in the best light. This ad also offers a preferred reading because it reinforces patriarchy. Women are now expected to look and act a certain way and that, when it comes to sex, there are certain expectations women are shown to have which is hinted in the fine print saying, “IT’LL BLOW YOUR MIND AWAY. Fill your desire for something long, juicy and flame-grilled with the NEW BK SUPER SEVEN INCHER. Burger King has done a good job capturing their target audience’s attention but I think they need to draw the line.
Burger King Seven Incher. Advertisement. Bob Phibbs Blog. N.p., 25 June 2009. Web. 5 Feb. 2012. <http://www.retaildoc.com/blog/sex/>.