As If Porn Wasn’t Enough…

So there I was sitting in my dorm room watching a so-called “family friendly” television show on a major network when a commercial came on. But this was not a “family friendly” commercial. I sat there in utter confusion with a shocked astounded look on my face. I wondered what this commercial could possibly advertising, and after 25 seconds of pure bewilderment, the announcer gave me the answer.This was a commercial for Carl Jr.’s and Hardee’s new Memphis BBQ Burger. What made this commercial so shocking you ask? While the thirty-second commercial proves my point, the minute long “director’s cut” is even more horrifying.

One of the final scenes in the Carl’s Jr. “Best Pair” hamburger commercial. Do they mean the hamburger patty and the pulled pork or these two ladies?

This commercial is a perfect example of media manipulation. In his article “Debbie Does Salad: The Food Network at the Frontiers of Pornography,” Frederick Kaufman discusses how food television is actively becoming more pornographic in nature, and this commercial proves his point. From the scantily clad girls to the suggestive gestures, it is clear that Carl’s Jr. wants their new burger to hit everyone’s “gut brain.”

So what makes this commercial so effective? The fact that it outraged me so much proves that it is getting attention, positive or negative. It had almost nothing to do with the burger itself, and yet Carl’s Jr. feels that this will get them business. Clearly, they are betting on this commercial’s sex appeal. The two women, who we can assume did not make these hamburgers, are ‘lathering’ this meat with BBQ sauce as they playfully push and shove each other in ways that make their bodies move suggestively. The angles the camera chooses to shoot this action from emphasizes certain body parts and makes the burger seem secondary when compared to the beautiful women on the screen. By manipulating what the audience sees, Carl’s Jr. is able to convince their target audience, obviously men, to buy this hamburger not only because it will taste good, but because it will make you feel good. In other words, eating their hamburger is like having food sex.

This method of manipulation is obviously everywhere and appears in places you would least expect it. Like in a commercial during a “family friendly” television show. Using food as sex hits audiences in their “gut brain” and deceives them into agreeing to something they might not otherwise believe. The only risk this method entails is making sure it doesn’t offend more audiences than it convinces. I can say with honesty that I don’t believe I was the target audience of that commercial, and yet there was no way I could escape the influence it had on me. Without Tivo or DVR, there was no way for me to ignore the pictures on the screen. I’m forced to sit and watch uncensored food porn, when all I wanted to do was watch TV.

Advertisements
This entry was posted in Blog #2. Manipulation and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s