Burger King: Determined Not To Have Female Patronage

I’m not entirely sure this post belongs here. It’s just that I’ve noticed (and not just recently) that Burger King’s (BK) ad campaigns have been geared strictly toward men. I’m saying this in comparing them to McDonald’s, Wendy’s, Dairy Queen and, heck, even Jack in the Box, all of which at least strive to encompass a broad range of people.

Not so with BK. From their giant plastic-headed (and scary) dude dressed like a king to their latest “Manthem” ad, they assume through their advertising that women aren’t really who they want to eat their food. Not that anyone should, quite frankly.

The Manthem starts out poorly – mocking Helen Reddy’s I Am Woman by the uninspired replacement of woman with man, proceeding to encourage guys to stand up, shove the “chick food” and head to BK for an artery-clogging Texas Double Whopper. It claims a real man wouldn’t eat quiche (a whole ‘nuther insult, actually). In fact, a real man would only eat at BK.

Now that I think about it, this particular ad is rather dreadful toward both men and women. To women by dismissing them outright and to men by including lyrics such as “I am incorrigible”, suggesting that all men are bad and not able to be reformed or that all men think women want to fix them by making them eat “chick food.”

I can’t figure out why BK continues to put out these horrendous ads. I also can’t figure out why any guy would be persuaded by the Manthem.


  1. scarlett says

    We have what sounds like a similar series of ads in Australia, for Coke Zero. It focuses on Coke Zero being for ‘real men’ and pokes fun at feminine sterotypes like miniture poodles in handbags and interior decorating. But I don’t find it particularly offensive, it’s so tongue-in-cheek that it’s obviously MEANT to be not taken seriously.

  2. Jennifer Kesler says

    This is a lot like the “man-law” campaign that beer (brand name escapes me) is running. They both make their own patrons look like weak morons. Maybe the only customers they’re interested in are men too brain-damaged to get they’re being made fun of? This kind of goes back to my theory that Guess? started deliberately courting insecure women once they switched to selling slave-sweatshop crap: insecure women don’t feel entitled to a pair of jeans that make it through more than 10 washings.

    Moronic men maybe don’t feel entitled to their burger being done right, or their fries being vegetarian, or whatever it is that’s too much trouble for Burger King to bother with?

    You may be pleased to note that the Burger King near my home closed down about a year ago. The staff was appallingly rude and mentally deficient, so I was pretty happy to see them all go unemployed.

  3. sbg says

    It’s that all of BK’s ads are like this, not just this one. Granted, if I’m watching a kids’ network, I don’t get the annoying man-geared ones. I get the annoying boy-geared ones.

    I dunno, maybe I should be glad that BK already knows that women are too smart to eat there.

  4. scarlett says

    That reminds me of a campiagn they ran for an Australian beer which basically took the piss out of the blokey stereotype (think Croc Dundee), whingeing about men who disappeared when it same to their round, men who brought prim ‘n’ proper girlfriends who made other men buy them girly srinks with umbrellas in them, men who stole your seal etc. That particular brand of beer has relied on piss-taking campaigns and they’ve become something of a national icon (the ads, not the beer, although the beer is something of a national icon for lower-class men, too) but no-one takes offence that the men are somewhat dim-witted and any woman to make an appearance is a prim, spoilt women. Summary; men are stupid, women are stuck-up. And yet its very funny, probably because its tongue-in-cheek. I haven’t seen those BK ads (we call it Hungary Jacks here, and the ads are pretty standard, show happy people eating delicious-looking burgers, etc) but what youre describing sounds like a tongue-in-cheek campaign. I guess unless we’ve both seen the campiagn the other is talking about we’re bound to disagree…

  5. sbg says

    This is a lot like the “man-law” campaign that beer (brand name escapes me) is running. They both make their own patrons look like weak morons. Maybe the only customers they’re interested in are men too brain-damaged to get they’re being made fun of?

    I hate that “man law” commercial. Why is that a man law? It should be a universal law. Women don’t like to drink beer if someone’s stuck their grubby finger down the bottle, either.

  6. sbg says

    Yeah, because it doesn’t much matter to me if they were trying to be tongue-in-cheek. The message is still bothersome on several levels.

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