Wednesday, November 28, 2007


So, obviously advertisements are made to play on our insecurities and biases, but why do fast food commercials continue to be goddamn oppressive? You're selling food, for goodness' sakes, it's a basic human need, all you should need to do is make it look appetizing. Even "edible, cheap and not revolting" is a good marketing scheme. But, no- as I've discussed before on this blog, men are attacked if they don't act like men, and apparently eating meat is a masculine trait. Of course Burger King's "I am Man" commercial made that clear, and a new spot from Wendy's has made the point a little more subtly, by cutting up and pasting together male and female bodies so that they can have the series of events they want but without any pesky gender role variation.

The ad freaks me the fuck out. If you haven't seen it, go to their website and click the black and white cut-and-pasted head on the bottom right. They did not put regular male actors in this commercial, because, duh- being overexcited, fanatic and hysterical are totally femmey. Please, talk to some wrestling fans for ten seconds if you want to prove male fanaticism exists. You would also find a ton of female wrestling fans, and surprise! Women eat bacon, too! But you'd never know it from a fast food commercial. Women actors couldn't be cast in this commercial because, duh, meat is for men! So the obvious solution is to impose pictures of men on the bodies of women, so the womanly parts can act crazy and the manly parts can eat meat. What the fuck?

Another commercial currently on the air that bothers the fuck out of me with its subtle prejudice is KFC's heartwarming family's-favorite-moments commercial. After some searching I thankfully found that I wasn't the only one that has an issue with this one. It seems like a sweet moment over dinner at first, but after they panned around the tables a few times I realized it was a black family, enjoying a bucket of chicken, and they were fatherless. Oh, dear.

Anyway, if you're here it's probably due to Project Runway and not my analysis of advertising. Though I would love to draw an analyzing-advertising audience because, hell, it's just as entertaining as watching PR and feels way more productive. But, I'll end with my prediction for the next episode. From the previews it's pretty obviously a men's wear challenge, but that by itself is a little boring. Even if it wasn't, PR always needs a second twist (you're designing for SJP's line- with $15, ha ha ha!), so I'm hoping the real challenge is designing a look for Tim Gunn. Though it may be problematic were he walking around giving advice during the process, but think about it- Tim could finally be on the judge's panel! Also, Tim Gunn objectification ahoy!

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