Magazine Advertisement Essay
Everywhere we turn; there are ads that sexually exploit women’s bodies to sell products. The use of women’s bodies in ads is a cheap trick that marketers use instead of making more thoughtful arguments on their products. The secret used in these ads is quite simple: Attractive bodies are employed to grab attention and stimulate desire, which advertisers hope will then be transferred to the product. Burger king has a new sandwich called the “Super Seven Incher”. 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. This ad helps create an atmosphere that devalues women as people and makes them seem more like objects in order to gain customers.
There is an image of a woman in the ad; the way she is positioned and the features in her face aim at putting a specific sexual idea into men’s heads. The bright red lips, the blue eye shadow, the wide eyes, and the gaping mouth, makes her seem like an object-a stereotypical blow up doll. Her red lipstick stands out the most in her face. Red is the color representing lust, sex, and/or danger, ultimately meaning that this woman is being associated with sex. Any male would be immediately attracted and drawn to her due to her luscious red lips. Therefore, men would go buy this sandwich. Her eyes are incredibly dominant within her overall appearance, the dark smoky eyes, representing danger, darkness and mystery. The way that they are really wide open is an expression that one would not have looking at a burger. It demonstrates how excited, overwhelmed, and shocked she is to see this ‘huge seven incher,’ whether that’s because she’s never seen a seven inch burger or whether it’s a reference to oral sex. Her overall position in the ad is not focused on the audience at all; her eyes are directly staring and completely focused on the burger; which adds more to the sexual innuendo being portrayed here. Her mysterious eyes lure the customers into buying the sandwich because they want to know what’s in store for them.
The description sits completely parallel with the sexuality of the images. The language used in this ad such as ‘yearn for more after you taste’, ‘juicy’ and ‘fill your desire’ all demonstrate how advertisers use sexual desire to get people to buy their products. Sex is a universal feel good so in relating sex to food the advertising company wants us to relate eating their foods with feeling good. The word ‘blow’ in the heading is a word the audience can interpret as sexual and inappropriate, and because it’s part of the heading, it’s the first thing the audience is going to read. Although the slogan stands out in contrast with the dark background and manages to draw attention, it fails to attain its ultimate objectives. “It’ll blow your mind away” does not have a problem when being used on its own, but when it is combined with the woman with bright red lips and the seven inch burger, the whole thing is wrong. The image seems to simulate oral sex, while the slogan reinforces that impression. The psychologist Sigmund Freud once said that, ‘Sex sells and anything that is related to sex instantly becomes successful,’ which in the media of the 21st century is incredibly true. Society is drawn and attracted to any type of media that contains sexual content, which is what is being portrayed in this ad.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. This ad isn’t only affecting women negatively, but also men. 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. The ad is glorifying this sandwich for its “thickness” and “super seven incher” length. By showing a wide eyed woman and a caption of “It’ll blow your mind away”, the advertisement is saying “sorry guys, if you’re not packing you’re not a ‘real man’ because you’ll never be able to satisfy and ‘pleasure’ a woman”. 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. Showing ads using women as sex symbols is problematic 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”. This Burger King ad is devaluing women in so many ways. Work Cited:
FOX News (2009). Critics cringe at ad for Burger King’s latest sandwich. Retrieved from http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,529576,00.html#ixzz1gGzZpk2N