Burger King Finally Uses Women in Ads

Now don’t get too excited. It’s this commercial , wherein three women approach a hitman to take out the Burger King for them because of the great, great food BK makes. There’s also one where these same women (I think) try to run down the freaky King with their car, for the same reason: they don’t like the competition BK represents, or that their families would rather eat BK than homecooked (by the women, natch) food.

Okay, now. What?

Apparently BK is not only uninterested in spending much effort and money in advertising their product to include women, they also kind of, sort of, in a way are saying that women (presuming all women cook for their families, which isn’t true but a different story) are their enemies.

Huh.

Comments

  1. says

    I seriously think they’re targeting men who resent women for trying to tell them what to eat. I’m not saying it makes sense, I’m just saying that’s the most logical thing I can get out of it.

  2. Mecha says

    I’d seen the ads, and I hadn’t thought of it like that. The various hit ads really are like that, though. The building around the teenage/young 20s counter-culture mindset (where your mom _is_ the enemy, but then again, so is your dad) really fits that.

    I wish I could find the other ad on the web, as the main BK site has already moved on to the ‘Whopper Freakout’ series, which I think already came up here for the Burger Queen comment. The one where they try to drive over him in a minivan, acting, uh, crazy is really, really striking. One of them gets frantic and almost weepy over the concept that one of her sons had ‘already eaten’ dinner, and they cackle maniacally as they try to run him over. Now that’s building on some ugly stereotypes.

    -Mecha

  3. kristi says

    My first thought was that the women were trying to kill the King because his food was so delicious it was bound to make them fat. Though BetaCandy’s male resentment theme is probably where they’re going with this … BK does usually run very male-oriented ads.

    Either way, these are some messed-up ads. Any possible interpretation I can come up with reads as “those bitchez are crazy!”

  4. Gategrrl says

    Actually, I thought they were killing him off because the Burger King character is so damned creepy. I wouldn’t mind if they did.

    But on the topic – yeah, BK has some odd advertisments these days: when they come on, I blank them out and don’t watch/listen to them.

  5. sbg says

    I seriously think they’re targeting men who resent women for trying to tell them what to eat. I’m not saying it makes sense, I’m just saying that’s the most logical thing I can get out of it.

    It boggles the mind. It’s one thing to know and appreciate your target market, but to blatantly not include any other market seems like bad strategy to me.

  6. sbg says

    ‘Whopper Freakout’ series, which I think already came up here for the Burger Queen comment

    Nope, not mentioned yet, but you can bet your life the first time I saw that I was annoyed. Quite annoyed, actually.

    The one where they try to drive over him in a minivan, acting, uh, crazy is really, really striking. One of them gets frantic and almost weepy over the concept that one of her sons had ‘already eaten’ dinner, and they cackle maniacally as they try to run him over. Now that’s building on some ugly stereotypes.

    That’s the one I really wanted to talk about. At first glance, it does seem like they’re gunning for the guy because he’s creepy…but then upon closer attention, to find out they’re jealous of and angry with BK for “stealing” their families (that is, the male portion of the families).

    Ugh.

  7. sbg says

    My first thought was that the women were trying to kill the King because his food was so delicious it was bound to make them fat. Though BetaCandy’s male resentment theme is probably where they’re going with this … BK does usually run very male-oriented ads.

    And that would be very problematic for me, too. The only commercials I can remember seeing women included as patrons of BK is the one where they “take the Whopper off the menu” for a day. In that, they do have reaction shots of both male and female, though to me the overall tenor of the ad is extremely male-centric.

  8. kristi says

    If they were just trying to kill the BK King because he was creepy, I’d be fine with that. (I’d be happy to help!) But there’s something even creepier going on here. Creepy and nonsensical … eating a Whopper really isn’t going to do anything to ensure one’s manliness, and your mom isn’t even likely to care.

  9. says

    It’s one thing to know and appreciate your target market, but to blatantly not include any other market seems like bad strategy to me.

    I’ve had this argument with several men who consider themselves gurus or afficionados of marketing. They swear you can’t target one audience segment without excluding others, so oh well, too bad. I disagree completely – it takes creativity and effort to target without excluding, but it can be done and I feel anyone who says it can’t is a hack.

  10. says

    Well there’s excluding – as in not being the focus – then there’s excluding – as in making another demographic the effing punchline.

    I suspect that several of the men you are conversing with have internalized double standards with regards to what excluding means for the privileged vs. the non-privileged.

    And I agree with you on the hack part. That’s part of what drives me bonkers when it comes to shows like Heroes. The stuff that raises my feminist hackles also offends my love of good storytelling. Relying on stereotypes does not make for good art. Sadly, it does often make money.

  11. says

    That’s what I meant by “excluding”. They think they have to join in the antipathies of the target audience in order to gain their sympathy. This is junior high thinking: “Oh, all the cool kids stand around and make fun of their moms. I’ll go make fun of mine, and maybe they’ll let me into their group.”

    But that’s not the only thing the “cool kids” have in common – and in my experience, 90% of the cool kids really don’t have an issue with their moms, they just know they’re supposed to blither on about that because that’s one of the rules of the group. They’re all engaging in a pantomime, and this theory of marketing rests on the fallacy that the pantomime is real, when they’d do better to find ways to appeal to the target audience without engaging in its supposed dislike of another group.

    Does it increase business? Who could possibly tell? BK is huge, and there are a ton of factors impacting their sales. As usual , they’ll assume the commercials are one of those factors when – seriously – I have to wonder if companies that size even need to advertise.

    I suspect that several of the men you are conversing with have internalized double standards with regards to what excluding means for the privileged vs. the non-privileged.

    Oh, well said. Yes, that’s it exactly. It’s like my frustration with the white male lead: I was writing screenplays that featured women as co-leads or leads, and men kept telling me in the same tone as they’d use to point out I needed to cut a few pages to make the pace more exciting, “This is great! You just need to make the guy more at the forefront and make the woman less so.” And never did it occur to them that this was excluding, or that I myself might feel excluded. They just thought that was how it was.

  12. sbg says

    They swear you can’t target one audience segment without excluding others, so oh well, too bad. I disagree completely – it takes creativity and effort to target without excluding, but it can be done and I feel anyone who says it can’t is a hack.

    I don’t know why most companies and services would want to target only one market. For certain niche businesses and products, of course, but something like fast food? You’d think they’d want as many patrons as possible, no matter what gender. Women can eat there, sure, but they’re not important enough to woo.

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