Rhetoric Analysis Draft 2


Sex Sells?


Everybody knows that in the world today sex sells. Even if people do not what to admit it, it is true. This can be done in very classy and tasteful ways, which is when the most success comes out of this slightly crude campaign genre. However, at other times, people take this campaign genre too literally; in this case Burger King in Singapore. They put sex on the forefront of this ad, and just as expected, it did not get such positive reactions.

This ad on the surface is clearly selling to young men. It has the profile of an attractive woman with her mouth open, as the “7-incher” comes towards her mouth. It has giant letters telling the men that it will “blow your mind away”. They are creating a very phallic, yet persuasive argument to buy this sandwich.  However, if you look more into the ad, you realize it is split in half. Under the large text there is a dividing line, and under that line is where the ad starts to cater more towards woman. The small text is using many potentially sexual words that are describing the act of eating the sandwich. It is describing how you can fill all of your desires by eating the 7-inches. This part does not cater to men because men would go straight to the visual of the woman with the giant sandwich coming towards her mouth. That image does not appeal to woman because, according to this ad, they would be the ones performing this function. That is why the lower half of the advertisement is directed at women. Not only does it have a full detailed description of the act and experience of eating this 7-incher, but it also provides a full image of what the product at hand is.

The pathos that is used in this artifact is clear. They are blatantly trying to get sex to sell.  The creators were attempting to create a common ground and common identity between this food industry, and their main consumers; the young to mid adults of today’s world. It is kind of sad to believe that our world has come to a point that we need phallic implications in order to sell products. In reality, all the creators of this advertisement were trying to do was engage and play with the audience’s emotions. They knew that if they created sexual innuendos and imagery, they would immediately make a connection with young adults who are in need of a 7-inch sandwich. This automatically creates a sense of passion, lust affection and well hunger in the minds of every individual who lays their eyes on the ad, and in some cases even anger.

There is always that small group of individuals who see right through the inappropriate aspects of the artifact and just get angry at how companies think this is the only way to get a point across. The people, who would not necessarily be grabbed by the sex sells approach, would appeal to the bottom corner of the ad. There it states the price, and how inexpensive it is, and how you can make it into a meal for a very low cost. Overall the logos here of the internal consistency of the message and argument are good. It is very clear what the writers were trying to do here and I believe that they accomplished exactly that. They wanted to cater to both gender parties in a way that would sell the product and remain sexy and phallic.

A tool that the craters used extremely well for this ad was the execution when it came to the fonts and colors. All of the main colors of this ad are very dull and mutes; various shades of browns and yellows. However, there is an ombréd effect in the center of the ad. The outside is black going into deep brown, and the colors hit their lightest point, in a dark-to-light faded circle fashion, right around where the female’s mouth is and the tip of the sandwich. This was so the eyes of the viewers would immediately go towards her mouth and so everyone, potentially, would understand exactly what image they were trying to portray. Right in the center of the light circle, is the woman’s mouth. They have portrayed her with bright red lipstick so, as if there already was not enough attention, now there is even more attention on her mouth; which really is the main focal point of this ad. Then, where the divide is for the “woman viewer” it is a think bright mustard-yellow rectangle, which is where the text is held. This automatically draws the attention of the eye because it is such a contrasting color compared to the background. And the main attention grabber of this advertisement is the word “ BLOW” giant and white written front and center of this ad, as if the imagery was not enough to already get the point across.

If this ad were to come out around 40 years ago, it would be shunned. It would immediately be taken down everywhere and every single person would be appalled. Why you might ask? Simply because the past had a sense of dignity and modesty. Activities such as what this ad is portraying, used to be seen as taboo to discuss in public. They were kept secret between two people, who shared a strong emotional connection and were not discussed to the general public. It was a much simpler, and cleaner world to live in.  The modern world today is extremely focused on centering everything on sex, and portraying it as many times as that can and in as many forms as possible, until they are completely pushing the boundaries.  The day this ad campaign came out was truly the day that subtlety died. It is honestly shocking to think about how much our filter bar and what is “appropriate” for the public has lowered exponentially as time goes on. Looking up Burger King ads from the 1950s, they show loving families, mostly of color but that is a whole different can of worms, sitting around tables, eating together. That’s all. There are no sexual innuendos, nothing that shocks the viewer and nothing that will honestly turn the consumer away.


The only thing, and I mean only thing, which makes the ad a little less offensive is that it did not come out in the US. This was an ad made by the Singapore branch of Burger King in hopes to create a more popular image of Burger King over there. However, just as the creators feared, it made its way over to the US, although the ad never actually ran here, it exploded and went viral very quickly.

According to an article on Entertainment Weekly, “Something long, juicy”? “Yearn for more”? “Mind-blowing”? I think it’s all rather glorious, in an I-love-trash kind of way. Who ever cared about cunning, cleverness, and nuance anyway? Blow your mind (and this Super Seven Incher) instead!” One thing that is most fascinating about this is that it did not get nearly as much hate and negative attention in Singapore as it did here in the US. What is it about the American culture that we can have ads, such like this one, that leave nothing to the imagination and put sex immediately on the forefront, but the immediately put such strong hate and negative energy towards it.


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