Kristie C. sent in a Hardee’s commercial for their turkey burger that is an example of something we’ve talked about before: the conflation of women with food products to be consumed and the sexualization of both women and food in ads. But watch closely! It’s very subtle, so you might miss it the first time.
Tom — April 8, 2011
This is not worth getting worked up over. I usually love this site, but if you muddy real issues with nonsense posts, you devalue this whole enterprise.
Renée — April 8, 2011
I thought it was a nice touch to have the mother covering her sons eyes at 0:12. As if it weren't bad enough to reduce this woman to her parts, they also snuck in the slut-shaming. Nice!
caitmechanic — April 8, 2011
I'm just so glad that, to cement the exoticization, they made sure to use music that sounds like Hollywood's idea of Turkey instead of actual, you know, Turkish music.
But I'm sure that would be too difficult...
millie fink — April 8, 2011
"And that's just the way it is." = "We decided not to say anything with real content here because we're making a base appeal to your lizard brain, not your word-processing brain."
Marah — April 8, 2011
Hardee's has aired sexist ads for years now. Remember that "Patty Melts For You" and "Flat Buns" campaign for the Thickburger, and having Paris Hilton writhe around with a burger. I also seem to recall a women simulating kissing with one of their food products. I mean, the fact that I am not a TV junkie yet can still recall these ads demonstrates to me that this stuff is not "irrelevant." Sexism is pervasive across countless forms of popular culture. When I recognize something as sexist - in this case, the ad is insulting to both women and to men's intelligence and dignity - it sticks with me because it makes me ask: how is this acceptable to anyone? why does our culture allow this to persist on a mass scale?
Nick H — April 8, 2011
So I guess that the mixture of humour and sexual titillation here is supposed to reassure us men that its OK to eat a low calorie burger.
I've always known that advertising blatantly reinforces gender stereotypes but actually analyzing the images and themes that are being presented on a case by case basis makes one realize that the situation is even worse than it looks at first glance.
Sarah — April 8, 2011
Is that actually Miss Turkey? I have to wonder how her fellow Turks feel about this ad--I would be super-offended. In fact, just as a fellow Terran, I am.
Also, I have to wonder why Hardee's is working so hard at targeting the jackass bloc of the 40% of Americans that are heterosexual men.
mzza — April 8, 2011
let's not forget that this was a co-sponsorship project with "Men's Health"
Owly — April 8, 2011
Why, why, WHY did I watch this? I knew what it was about from the post. I probably could have figured it out just by seeing the title of the video. I guess it's for the same reason I read the comments on news articles, I can't help myself. In fact, this blog has one of the only comment sections that (usually) doesn't make me want to throw my computer in disgust.
As for commentary, I can never find much to say about videos like this because I'd never stop talking once I started. Sometimes it's nice to sit back and let the trolls do all the work for us.
Sully R. — April 8, 2011
on the other hand, there is a woman staring at her too in the final shot. lesbian inclusion?
Kelly — April 8, 2011
Wooooow. Subtle message about men being the target consumer group.
eduardo — April 8, 2011
Psychologists and advertisers found out long ago that this is a good way to sell to men. What would happen if the advertisers made an ad in which they simply switched the genders? In advertising, male objectification has to happen in the context of an at least implied relationship in order to be attractive to women.
Here is an interesting article:
"Our work builds upon existing perspectives in sexual psychology, which argues for stark differences in men's and women's sexual beliefs and motivations. This literature portrays men as having positive attitudes towards casual and recreational sex, whereas women value the emotional intimacy and commitment that can surround the sexual relationship," explain the authors.
The authors proposed that women's attitudes toward sexually oriented advertising would improve if ads depicted sex in a manner consistent with women's intrinsic values—for example if the sexual behavior appeared to reflect devotion and commitment.
"Findings from our initial experiments were supportive of this hypothesis," write the authors. "Experiment 1 illustrated that commitment-related cues in the ad itself (for example, positioning the product as a gift to a woman from a man) boosted women's attitudes."
This is also mentioned in Psychology Today
“This result was investigated further by a series of three additional experiments, in which commitment and intimacy were attached to non-sexual ads, or presented as acts from the woman to the man (rather than from the man to the woman), or in which participants were subliminally primed with thoughts of intimacy and commitment, rather than having these concepts present in the actual ads.
The results all seem to confirm the previous hypothesis that commitment and intimacy are important qualifiers of women's response to sexuality. In particular, women respond negatively to sexually explicit advertising in which sexuality is presented without implications of commitment and intimacy, but women respond favorably to ads in which men (as opposed to women) appear to be signaling intimacy and commitment.
Men on the other hand, seem rather unaffected by accompanying messages of commitment, and generally favor all sexually laden ads.”
Is it conceivable that the reason we don’t see more men objectified in this way is because women and men react differently to the same images? WHY they react differently is another topic, but advertisers are probably just happy to know what works and what doesn’t. After all, the amount of money spent in advertising is almost obscene, and since their livelihood depends on it you can bet that nothing in advertising is left to chance these days. Which brings us to the objectification of women in ads like this.
Just a thought.
Sully R. — April 8, 2011
Some additional details in their "Behind the Scenes" video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H2W8DdSYhP8
Buddy McCue — April 8, 2011
The first thing that comes to my mind when I watch this is the realization that I don't miss television one single bit.
Yeah, this commercial is crass and offensive. If I were watching TV with my wife or my mother, or any other woman for that matter... this commercial would make me feel embarrassed. I would feel like explaining: "Hey, we're not ALL pigs, you know."
If I was not in the company of women, and I was watching this commercial, I would still be offended. Why? Because of the fact that these advertisers think they can manipulate me into eating their nasty fast food by showing me a video of an attractive woman.
Yes, Miss Turkey is attractive. If I were sitting on a wharf and she walked by, I would probably be stealing glances at her while trying not to stare. But I sure do resent Hardee's trying to use that fact to make me buy their stupid turkey sandwich.
If I want one of their turkey sandwiches, I'll buy one. If I don't; I won't.
Miss Turkey simply doesn't enter into it.
Laura — April 8, 2011
Why does the world have to be so misogynistic??? It makes me want to cry.
WG — April 8, 2011
1) Is this commercial geared towards heterosexual men or gay women? Or both?
2) It's interesting that nearly all the men in the commercial are wearing less than the woman at issue.
Brent — April 8, 2011
I also resent the sexualization of constipation. Just look at how beautiful those women are on the activia ads. I will never look that good no matter how regular I am.
Bill Angel — April 9, 2011
My impression is that this advertisement's target audience is women, not men.
Advertising like this is based on the "Buy This, Get This" concept. The idea aimed at women here is that if they buy the turkey burger (which is a low fat alternative to the typical beef burger) then they will "get" (i.e ultimately acquire) the shapely body that this model possesses. And people will then look at her (the targeted food consumer) the way that they look at "Miss Turkey" in the advertisement.
Banu Alkan — April 9, 2011
I am a Turkish woman and this is exactly what I do all the time! I don't see what the problem is
Silverwane — April 9, 2011
That was not subtle at all!
Abdullah Hussein Mustafa — April 9, 2011
I like 2 take a bite outta dat ASS!!!!
Alexis — April 9, 2011
One thing that is interesting about this commercial to me is that it seemed like her full face was never shown. I was wondering is that REALLY Miss Turkey (I know now it is) or a stand-in. Its somehow grosser to me that they went through the trouble to hire this particular woman for the ad and dont even show her face.
Hau — April 11, 2011
What exactly is meant by "But watch closely! It’s very subtle, so you might miss it the first time"?
Ben — April 11, 2011
But the real question is, where is the Burger at the end?
Is she holding the rest of the Burger in her mouth?
(Did she put it in here bikini? Yurk...)
Scotty — May 5, 2011
Wow!! thanks for the link, she's one hot Muslim!!
John Sherman — May 15, 2011
I think what Gwen Sharp is telling us is subtle is the fact that the woman covering the boy's eyes is not only wearing a bikini, but she has hairy armpits. I defy anyone to find another American commercial in which a woman shows hairy armpits. It's so rare, that it practically qualifies as pornography. Hairy armpits on women is a significant sub category on many fetish porn sites. I believe Gwen is suggesting to us that the Hardees/Carls Jr commercial just got away with the taboo of showing pubic hair in an erogenous zone of the female anatomy. David and Goliath will probably rry to slip a beaver in on us in a future commercia.
Haley — May 28, 2011
*And just to help you remember the burger, we tattooed a picture of it, to Miss Turkey's nipple....*
T.Wade — May 28, 2011
mmmmmmm Turkey nipples