Wednesday, July 08, 2009

Ssseexx Sells!

You have to imagine that said in an exotic voice, like mine. Then you have to clear your brain and start all over again. Like with this:

Fast Food Chains Steam Up Ads
Sales for Burgers Include Bikini-Clad Girls, Sexual Innuendo

Advertisers have never shied away from using sex to sell their products because, as the old adage goes, sex sells. And over the last decade, some fast food chains have upped the ante with more sexual innuendo in their television and print advertisements.

There's an entire genre of racy fast food ads, like the Hardee's promotion that talks to consumers about "creamy balls" and "happy holes" for its biscuit holes campaign.

Then there's the Carl's Jr. and Hardee's promotion called "Hot Chicks Eating Burgers," in which the two chains, both owned by CKE Restaurants, ask for video submission of attractive women doing just that.

But some people say the ad campaigns have gone too far.

"It seems an entire industry is set on trying to push every bound of sexual innuendo in order to sell something like a hamburger," said Dan Isett, Parents Television Council public policy director.

Go to the link and watch the video discussion on this topic. Pay special attention to the way in which female body = sex, with few exceptions. Indeed, when asked about their 'sexy' ads:

The owner of Hardees and Carl's Jr. said in a statement the companies' ads are "intended to communicate the core message of our premium quality food to our target audience of Young, Hungry Guys. We do not aim to exclude or offend any other group."

Ultimately, then, the conversation is not about the sexualisation of advertising but about the use of women's bodies doing apparently sexual things to sell stuff to men.

This Singapore ad is a good example of how that works. See Suzie's earlier post about it:

Burger King defended the ad by pointing out that it wasn't used outside the Singapore market and that it made them money.