Tuesday, November 27, 2012


There is no secret sex sells. We have observed the feminine and masculine side of advertising and how appealing the body can be to consumers. When advertising the human body it is nothing more than a sexual object to attract consumers eyes. Sexual advertising can be found in nearly any brand that advertises. In Advertising by Stole she wrote how, "Sigmund Freud's view of the human mind as irrational, easily manipulated, and driven by unconscious (mainly sexual) instincts and desires invited advertisers to apply psychological constructs to their commercial strategies" (615).  What I find interesting is that sex can be applied to anything and have no relevance to the product at hand. Carl's Jr. came to my mind immediately which led to me thinking of the oligopolistic advertising in the fast food industry. In my mind I group together 4 chains: McDonald's, Burger King, Jack-in-the-Box, and the infamous Carl's Jr. All 4 of these companies make and sell similar products. But what is interesting about the companies at hand is the different advertising schemes they implement to sell their product. Check out these different commercials from the fast food chains above.





It's really interesting to see the different approaches they have to the market and who their target audiences are. Hope you enjoyed.


  1. Matthew, I too think about fast food chains when thinking about advertisements that promote a product through sexual appeal. One recent advertisement that came to my mind was a Carl's Jr. advertisement with Kate Upton. Carl's Jr. has become widely known for using sex appeal and famous actresses to promote their new burgers. I really question how effective this is. Does this advertisement really make someone want to go out a get a burger? At least for me it doesn't. I'm sure for most girls out there this advertisement would make them feel more self-conscious about their bodies and weight, and what better way to have a girl turn down a burger is to make them feel self-conscious about their body. Overall, I question why advertisers decide to use this method and how successful it really is.


  2. I definitely agree with both Shirin and Matthew. I think the Carl's Jr. ad that comes up in my memory is that of Paris Hilton, an ad which I believe was taken down because of how provocative it is. At the same time, I feel like once you've been on a Carl's Jr ad, it signifies that you've made it big. I remember watching a "Keeping Up With the Kardashian" episode where Kim Kardashian was asked to be part of the Carl's Jr. ad, a gig which she happily took. It's slightly oxymoronic how these women that are used in these advertisements are fairly skinny and are models yet they're advertised as eating these greasy burgers.

    Also, in response to Shirin's comment, I believe these ads target middle aged men who fantasize about these models. It's that combination of sex appeal and manhood, of that burger that guys would just go out back and throw on the grill. I think the ad isn't reaching out to girls necessarily who know that those burgers probably won't help them achieve a body like Paris Hilton's or Kim Kardashians.' As the saying goes, "a moment on the lips, forever on the hips."

  3. I watched the four videos in Matthew's post, and it just came up to me what we learned in the previous gender studies: in the videos, all three hamburger ads are featured with males; the only ad for salad is featured with female. It reminds me what Professor Retzinger pointed out in her lecture, the relationship between food and body image, and the difference between male and female body image and social image. Women eats salad while man eats double cheese hamburger just reflects the different body and social image they have.
    And for the Carl's Jr ad posted in Shirin's comments, I think it uses sex appeal (featuring a women eating a hamburger) as a strategy to attract both male and female consumers. It appeals to women because it makes them feel eating a hamburger can be sexy and there's no need to be guilty. It appeals to men since the ad itself contains a lot attractions.
    It's just interesting to see how each hamburger company uses different strategies to advertise for their almost same products ---- at last, it is not about size and price of the product, it's about how you will look and feel.

  4. Funny, I watched the first two ads and thought... "This isn't that sexual," but the last two played it up more. I think altogether you're pointing to a definite gender-specific target audience for these burger ads, and it makes me wonder if you could think of a sexy guy ad for something similar, i.e. a burger for women?