Carl’s Jr. is known for its risqué advertisements, featuring celebrities such as Paris Hilton, Kate Upton, and Jenny McCarthy (you’ll forget you’re eating a salad!) But the latest ad for the burger chain, featuring Miss Alabama Katherine Webb, has inspired a lot of questions as to whether Carl’s Jr. is actually selling burgers or simply advertising sex.
The advertisement is full of fragmentation: Miss Alabama is cut up into parts- legs, hands, breasts, and mouth. She is no longer a singular being, but rather a being only viewable because of specific parts she possesses. She has “turned herself into an object and most particularly an object of vision: a sight” (Berger 38).
She is no longer a model presenting a product, but has become the product herself- she is the real object of the viewer’s desire, not the hamburger. The advertisement is not for the Black Angus Steak and Bleu cheese, but the black leather and body parts of the woman. The presentation of the wet, clothes-less female body out does the juicy hamburger that she holds in her hands. The hamburger simply cannot compete with the sexuality that the woman exudes. She is more appealing to the viewer/customer (and if you have ever actually seen a Carl’s Jr. hamburger, you know they aren’t very appealing looking at all) and this works for the target audience, but is it really selling the food?
The ad would certainly make the male audience excited, but excited for the food… or sex?
Berger, John. “From Ways of Seeing.” Trans. Array The Feminism and Visual Culture Reader. New York: Routledge, 2003. 37-39. Print.