Check Out More Offenders:
Contact Carl’s Jr./Hardee’s and let them know what you think of their over-sexualization of women.
CEO: Andrew F. Puzder
CMO: Brad R. Haley
Phone: (877) 799-7827
CKE Restaurants, Inc.
6307 Carpinteria Avenue, Suite A
Carpinteria, CA 93013
Chief Creative Officer: Glenn Cole
Phone: (310) 215-9009
12101 W. Bluff Creek Drive
Playa Vista, CA 90094
Cheeseburgers: So sexy!
Questions to Consider:
- Why do advertisers use women’s sexuality to sell products?
- Does this influence the way women are valued in society?
- What audience is this ad targeting?
- What’s the difference between sexuality and sexualization?
What We Think:
Step 1: Scream into the nearest pillow.
Step 2: Breathe and put your critical thinking cap on.
Welp, this one’s a doozie. I’m being too polite. Carl’s Jr./Hardee’s had a track record of having some of the most brazenly sexualized ads. They constantly use scantily clad, tall, thin supermodels to pose/“eat”/sell their products. But this one is just ridiculous. This is the male gaze times a hundred, presenting the world from a man’s point of view in which women are strictly objects of their pleasure. Let’s break this down bit by bit.
First of all, the title of the commercial is the “Bacon 3 Way Fantasty” [sic], referring to sex between three people. This gives us insight into who Carl’s Jr./Hardee’s is targeting with this ad — presumably, heterosexual men. This also 1) tells us what straight men supposedly fantasize about, and 2) sends a message to women about what they should look and act like if they want to be appealing to men. (As if we didn’t already know what “sexy” is according to our culture…) This ad sends a message about beauty as well. Not only does it suggest that in order for women to fulfill men’s sexual fantasies they must be bikini-clad and dripping with barbecue sauce (or whatever), but that sexiness is defined by thinness and whiteness.
Sexualization — the reduction of a person’s worth to her sexuality — defines this ad. The way the women are dressed, the way they eat, the way they interact with one another, everything reduces them to mere sex objects, things to be lusted after. There’s nothing subtle about it, either. The burger is named the 3 Way. What more needs to be said?
The real cherry on top is that of course Carl’s Jr./Hardee’s knows this ad is unnecessarily sexual and objectifying. “What did you expect?” one of the women asks at the end of the ad. They know it’s over the top, they even know the viewer may be upset about it. The smug, “get over it” attitude makes it seem like so long as they acknowledge their sleaziness, it’s okay. It’s their brand. And you know what, they probably won’t change unless the customers — including the men who are the target of these ads — decide they find commercials like this unacceptable. Let Carl’s Jr./Hardee’s know what you think of “Bacon 3 Way Fantasty” [sic], and don’t hit them up for your next “fourth meal”.
— Colleen Sparks
Where We Saw It
YouTube and network TV. August 9, 2016