Culture Jam Assignment

Original Ad

This Arby’s ad is problematic because the position of the two burgers represent women’s breast. The two hands are in a cross position to cover the two burgers, which creates a sense of mystery. It seems like that the ad designer did not use enough signs, such as nail polish, to show whether the two hands belong to a male or a female, which leaves more room for audience to fantasize. If the two hands belong to a female, the female may be naked and have no cloth to cover her breast. If the two hands belong to a male, the action has sexual implications. Moreover, the line on the ad, “we’re about to reveal something you’ll really drool over”, is also ambiguous because people may drool over on Arby’s burgers and women’s breast. If the two hands belong to a female, then, women are considered to be cheap and willing to reveal their own body parts to others.

I think this ad will attract mostly male adults and adolescents who are interested in sex and women’s body parts. They may think purchasing and then touching an Arby’s burger can lead them to drool over and be amazed like they are touching women’s breast. As they may lack sex partners and sex experience, they hope to receive a similar level of life fulfillment and satisfaction through touching and eating the advertised burgers. The burgers may fulfill their stomachs, just like women may fulfill their sexual desire. In conclusion, this Arby’s ad is problematic as it relates burgers to women’s breasts and uses males’ sexual desire to sell burgers.

Jammed Ad

I have modified of Arby’s advertisement to make the readers to feel the element of sexism and gender inequality more clearly. First, I replaced the burger on the right with a real boob so that it can form a contrast with the Arby’s burger on the left. Second, I replaced the red meat in the middle of the burger with a red-laced bra. I think the color red represents passion and excitement, which are loved by many men, especially the excitement seekers. The advertisement as a whole invokes men’s sexual desire.

It is an interesting phenomenon that females are featured more on ads than males. Female bodies are generally considered to be more attractive than male bodies as well. It reminds me of a conversation I had with a retired psychology instructor years ago. She told me that men pay more attention to physical attractiveness when they pick their significant other and women pay more attention to whether the significant other can server as a provider. I am not sure whether the latter still holds true because most women can support themselves and be independent in the modern era, but the former is changed less than the latter. I wonder whether this is related to men and women’s biological differences. If this Arby’s ad aims to attract male customers, does it mean female customers are not as important? I hope Arby’s does not think that more men buy burgers than women and/or men have more buying power than women. Some men may not want to enter a restaurant that only has male customers.