On the 2013 Super Bowl, Carl’s Jr. burger restaurant chain released a commercial to advertise their new non-fried fish sandwich. Instead of highlighting the attributes of the meal itself, the company decided to objectify women in order to increase sales.
The 1-minute long commercial consists of a model in a bathing suit at the beach, applying sun-tanning lotion all over her body while being extremely erotic in the process. Once her body is all oiled-up, she moves on to taking that first bite off the sandwich, followed by a close up of her licking her fingers.
It surprises me that even at a family targeted event such as the Superbowl, which was the third-most watched television event in American history on 2013, a commercial that should have no attachment to gender (considering we are talking about a sandwich) is so heavy on its sexual innuendo.
In Judith Lorber’s “The Social Construction of Gender,” she points out how “sexual feelings and desires and practices have been shaped by gendered norms and expectations.” This advertisement exemplifies this as the model is expected to be attractive and the male viewer is supposed to feel compelled to buy a burger because of his sexual desires of the model, even though there is no rational association between the taste of the burger and (the taste?) of Nina Agdal.
Judith Lorber, “The Social Construction of Gender” (1990)