Tag Archives: advertisements

Pepsi Privilege

As I was writing many of these posts, I’ve come to realize that I have been highly critical of the society we live in. But you know what? I don’t want to come off completely as a Debbie-downer so this next post is to show that there ARE some positive things in our society that we should be proud of too.

To keep it short and simple, women have been oppressed and treated unequally in our society for as long as history has been written and they still are to this day.  For example, within the workplace, the average woman makes less than the average man.  To learn more about gender inequality in the workplace, click here  to read an interesting article that I found on this topic (Fitzpatrick).  Women have always been on a lower playing field than men but I really like this commercial from Pepsi because it shows women in a more positive light than many other food advertisements we have already looked at.

Here is the video (once again this is another Super Bowl Ad, and from the 2012 game):

So, what does this ad tell us about food and gender equality?

First of all, what it tells us about food is that this ruler (Elton John), views Pepsi as something only fit for royalty and those who deserve it.  In other words, it is a privilege to have good food and drink.  But due to Melanie Amaro’s bravery and courage to defy the king, she gives all people the opportunity to have Pepsi.  What parallels can be made about food?  Well, believe it or not, FOOD IS A PRIVILEGE.  I mean seriously, think about it.  Not all people can afford to eat in really expensive restaurants.  For example, what DC college student (aka me) is going to be able to eat at Citronelle?  This restaurant’s average menu price can range anywhere from $14-35 for a small plate of food (Cooper).  Is a college student like me really going to be able to afford this?  Hell no! I’d probably stick to 2Amy’s where I can get an entire pizza for $12.  But let’s think about it some more, I’m privileged in that I can sometimes treat myself to good food.  Some people can’t afford to eat out at all and are actually going day to day trying to put food on the table.  Also, keeping in mind that there is so much gender inequality in the workplace, how are women and “non-normative” gendered people supposed to achieve such simple privileges with no equal pay or job opportunities?

Anyways, I realize that may be another Debbie-downing point, but here is the good part!

The reason why I liked this commercial was because it shows women on an equal playing field as men (especially a man of power, the King).  Through the commercial, we can see that the jester was trying to impress the King with his performance in order to be rewarded with a Pepsi drink.  After the jester failed epically, a woman of color approaches the bench to give a shot in obtaining a Pepsi (Melanie Amaro).  She sings the justice out of the song R-E-S-P-E-C-T by Aretha Franklin and is offered a drink from the approaching king.  Next, she defies the king and liberates all the people from this Pepsi privilege.

This is a good representation of women because it represents a strong woman who defies an oppressive system.  Here’s how the commercial does this:

When Melanie Amaro sings, she sings on a platform to a king on a throne (if you didn’t catch it the first time, watch it again). When she does a good enough job to deserve a drink, the King gets down from this thrown, crosses the floor, and steps onto the platform that Melanie performed on.  What this tells us in terms of power is the King has the most power but as he offers to give Amaro a drink, he has to get on her level….meaning the power is equal.  However, does Amaro just become another privileged Pepsi drinker like the king?  Hell no!  With the equal power distribution between Amaro and the King, she takes advantage of the opportunity and liberates all the people from this Pepsi privilege.  This is why this is a great commercial.

References

Cooper, Rachel . “Citronelle Restaurant Review – Michel Richard Citronelle.” About.com Washington, DC. n.d. n. page. Web. 25 Apr. 2012. <http://dc.about.com/od/restaurantreviews/gr/CitronelleRevie.htm&gt;.

Fitzpatrick, Laura. “Why Do Women Still Earn Less Than Men?.” TIME US. 20 Apr 2010: n. page. Web. 25 Apr. 2012. <http://www.time.com/time/nation/article/0,8599,1983185,00.html&gt;.

Pepsi. “Pepsi-King’s Court Super Bowl”. 03 Feb. 2012 Online video clip. Youtube. Accessed on 24 April 2012. < http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Rcf01QTcO6E&gt;.

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Is BIGGER better?

I’m going to start this post with 2 questions, and the questions are for you too!

Questions:

1)      What is your favorite fast food joint?

2)       When you think of that fast food restaurant, what comes to your mind?

Here’s what my answers were:

My favorite place is Burger King (BK).  In my mind, there is absolutely no competition between McDonald’s and BK because it’s so much better than McDonald’s.  When I think of BK I tend to think of the awesome chicken sandwiches, onion rings with barbecue sauce and how I’m going to get fat or clog up my arteries with cholesterol.

Here’s another question, when you think about that fast food joint, do you also think about sex?  I’m assuming the majority of you said no, and I would have to personally say that I too would never think about sex and BK at the same time.  So why the heck do we put the two together then?  It’s because sex, gender, and food are highly relatable.

Below is an ad that I fell upon and thought it was a prime example to inspect under the lens of gender and sexuality, especially in terms of gender roles.

First, let’s examine all the innuendo and sexual symbolism.  To put it bluntly, the positioning of the sandwich in regards to the woman’s mouth seems as though she is going to give a blowjob (otherwise known as fellatio) to the sandwich which obviously represents a penis.  Also, the word “blow” in the ad just further implies fellatio.  To make things even more apparent, the sandwich is described as “long” (7 inches) and “juicy” and is filled with a lot of mayonnaise.  Also, just read this little description found at the bottom of the ad and I think you’d be able to recognize some more innuendo:

“Fill your desire for something long, juicy and flame-grilled with the NEW BK SUPER SEVEN INCHER. Yearn for more after you taste the mind-blowing burger that comes with a single beef patty, topped with American cheese, crispy onions and the A1 Thick and Hearty Steak Sauce. (The Cajun Boy)”

So, what does this say about gender roles and sexuality?

Well, it once again reinforces our heterosexual society because it assumes that sex is between men and women only. Could you imagine if the woman’s face was replaced with a man’s?  People would flip out!

What it also shows us about our gender roles is that for people who want to have sex with men; they should strive to meet a man with a long seven inch cock.  But even when we have met what we desire (which is a 7 inch cock), we should still want more……………..just like that darn BK Super Seven Incher Sandwich!

However, these roles are problematic because what if we don’t meet these expectations?  If a man doesn’t have a seven inched dick then he could feel really inadequate.  Also, for us people who like having sex with men, what if a seven inch dick (or even bigger) is something we found but isn’t as satisfying as we thought?  It brings up the question, is bigger really better?  Not only does it apply to penises, but also to food.  Are bigger plates of food tastier than smaller portioned plates?

Think about it and let me know what you think.    🙂

Reference

Cajun Boy, The. “Eating a Burger King ‘Super Seven Incher’ Is Just Like Giving a Blow Job.” Gawker. N.p., 24 Jun 2009. Web. 23 Apr 2012. <http://gawker.com/5301856&gt;.

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Rump or Ass?

**As stated in an earlier post, we know that our society is extremely heteronormative…..so its especially important to keep this concept in mind while I discuss this post. There are many reasons why I chose this next ad.  Unlike the Baileys ad, this ad deliberately uses a woman’s body to make its marketing statement.  I also chose this ad because this decision to use a woman’s body also blatantly shows us our societal views of women.  **

So here we go:

Based off of our society, we know that people generally tend to have a mentality that women eat salads and men eat steak and potatoes.  Due to the fact that all men LOVE steak and women….what a better way to market towards men by using steak and women, right? This is exactly what this ad does.

This ad uses a naked woman’s body in order to depict the certain types of meat cuts you can find on a cow.

By doing this, we assume that people are buying their product because they can then connect this diagram of a woman to a cow.  We can also assume now that people make their decision of what meat cut they want based off of the cow diagram that they now have in their head.  However, is this really the case?  Are we really choosing the rump because we envision the cow’s butt to be delicious, or are we really choosing the rump because the woman’s rump is sexy and therefore the rump cut is attractive to us?

Why else is this ad important to us?

It is important to note that ads like these clearly express our views on food, gender, and sexuality.  This type of ad shows us that one of the easiest ways to show how an ad is relatable to us (as consumers) is to use gender and sexuality because everyone knows what a man/woman is supposed to be and everyone loves sex.

But for me, this ad is important because it shows us how our society thinks of women.  Due to the fact that a woman is used to relate to meat cuts, what does that tell us?  It shows us that women are reduced strictly to their bodies and are nothing more than pieces of meat for our consumption.  It may not say it in words, but this is what the image implies.

 

 

Reference

Sharpe, Gwen. “Sexualizing and Gendering Food.” The Society Pages . W.W Norton & Company, Inc., 25 Mar 2008. Web.  Apr 2012. <http://thesocietypages.org/socimages/2008/03/25/sexualizing-and-gendering-food/&gt;.

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Preparing for the Meal

For many of us, we have daily routines that we have been doing for our entire lives.  One of those routines is eating.  Since the time we were born, we have been eating every day, whether that is at home or at restaurants and bars.  To many of us, it is something we simply do and we don’t ever think about it twice.  However, what if we were to take a step back and examine what we do in regards to food?  When we take the time to do this, we start to see a whole new world in regards to whatever we were thinking about.  For me, taking the time to think about things has opened my eyes about our society and its relationship to food.

As mentioned in my first post, I will be exploring how our societal uses and views food in terms of gender and sexuality.  In order to understand how our society does this, I will be taking a look at many things within this topic.  First and foremost, I will be explaining what I mean by gender and sexuality in order to give an over encompassing context for this blog.

Once we fully understand gender and sexuality, we can then begin to look at the relationship our society has with food.  One of the first things that will be examined within our society is the media.  Taking a look at print and video advertisements along with television shows are important because they are so abundant and all around us.  Also, another reason why the media will be studied is because it’s one of the easiest and most visible ways to see the relationship between gender, sexuality, and food which is a direct reflection of our society and culture.

After taking a look at the media, we can then begin to look at how people’s decisions and choices on food are affected.  For some people, their decisions and choices on food aren’t heavily affected, but for others it is.

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