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Does having a controversial marketing ad worth it? (by Victoria Macias)

Pioneers of the great american burger

The job of a marketer can be very stressful. Why may you ask? Well, it is their responsibility to create an ad and campaign that attracts the right consumers and can clearly communicate what they need to in a short amount of time. The most important job, however, is to make sure the ad/campaign stands out from the rest of the ads. Many companies have gotten creative over the years, some by using celebrities, influencers, and unique concepts.

 

Some hospitality companies, more specifically, restaurant chains, have gotten uniquely creative to hold the consumer's attention for the ad. Take companies such as Carl's Jr. and GoDaddy, for example, both of these companies at one point have sexualized women to sell and move product. Carl's Jr. has made a commercial every year that features women eating fast food and wearing clothes that leave little to the imagination. With this concept in mind, the company seems to value the 'wow' or 'shock' factor it gives to its consumers. Nevertheless, there are some advantages and disadvantages to this type of marketing strategy.



One advantage of this type of marketing strategy is: anyone who is attracted to women will find these sorts of ads quite entertaining. Another advantage is that since it will be aired on television, the ad will be able to reach a much bigger audience. Moreover, if there is a celebrity in the ad, this will give the appearance of credibility and provides the consumer with faith in the product. Another advantage is that there would be a low cost per exposure. Meaning that the overall price will be high, but the total cost per viewer will be low since it would reach bigger audiences. Even though there are many advantages to these marketing strategies, there are also disadvantages to this kind of approach.

Some disadvantages to this strategy include: low selectivity (meaning the company is not targeting the public), being a fleeting message (once the advertisement is shown it cannot be retrieved or referred back to at any time), and the high initial cost for creating the content. With these disadvantages in mind, Carl's Jr, created these ads to up the wow-factor and brought more attention to the screen. However, having all attention does not mean it is good attention when looking at the rise of female empowerment, Carl's Jr. has fallen into under scrutiny with these kinds of groups over the years.

 

People can look at this campaign strategy in both ways. On one side, they may see it as completely ingenious, because it is able to bring attention to the product, and uses celebrity credibility. Another advantage is that with all the attention, commotion, and controversy, it has the potential of bringing more consumers to the company.

 

The saying "There is no bad publicity" may not be completely accurate. With the rising of the #Metoo movement, other feminist groups, and cancel culture this brings backlash to the company. Seeing that we are in a new era of woman empowerment, these ads can seem demeaning and degrading.

 

According to Pudzer, the former CEO of Carl's Jr., stated that the use of the ads saved the company from collapsing (Richarson, 2018). Ultimately, Carl's Jr has recognized this and, under the new management, has gotten rid of these types of advertisements. When looking from a marketing point, it is clear to see that these types of ads were indeed valid and caught on a lot of attention.

 

Looking from a female standpoint, these kinds of ads add to the standard of what women are expected to look like and can create body image issues among younger female viewers. What are your thoughts on the Carl' Jr advertisement? Were they effective? Do you think they should have kept making the ads?

 

About the Author

 

Victoria Macias is a third-year student at Cal Poly Pomona, with a major in hospitality management. She grew up in a small city called Victorville. After she graduated from high school, she moved to Pomona. She works for the Panda Express company, where we pride ourselves in "delivering an exceptional Asian dining experience by building an organization where people are inspired to better their lives" (Panda Express Mission Statement). Victoria has been working for the company for about a year and has realized that she wants to be in the hospitality business to help and serve others.


References

 

“Panda Careers: Panda Express, Panda Inn, and Hibachi-San.” Panda Careers | Panda Express, Panda Inn, and Hibachi-San, www.pandacareers.com/.

Richardson, Matt. “Carl's Jr. Says Goodbye to Sexy Burger Ads.” Fox News, FOX News Network, 30 Jan. 2018, www.foxnews.com/food-drink/carls-jr-says-goodbye-to-sexy-burger-ads.

 

Picture Source: https://www.carlsjr.com/menu

 



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