KFC is starting to lose its grip on the college population. And I hope that their latest marketing strategy doesn’t tighten this grip. Why? Recently, the fast-food chain claimed that more than six out of ten 18 to 25 year olds couldn’t identify Colonel Sanders in the KFC logo. But instead of coming up with a creative advertisement strategy, KFC decided to take the low road.
To promote their new Double Down bunless sandwich, KFC started paying college women $500 to give out gift certificates on their campuses while wearing fitted sweatpants with the words “double down” on their rears.
This marketing ploy not only shows how pathetic KFC has become in their desperate attempt to reach a tough age group, but it is also sexist. It degrades women to a for-display-only status.
Sadly, it’s not just KFC who’s doing this. How many times have you seen women’s bodies used to sell products? Our society has become accustomed to seeing women’s bodies being used to sell things as if they were faceless mannequins.
Where does KFC come off telling us that it’s OK to use a woman’s body for advertising? When you treat someone as an object, that person starts to become an object. When a beautiful woman’s body is used to sell everything from cars to beauty products, she is likened to a common billboard or a sign on a car. It’s dehumanizing. And it makes me sick.
KFC and other advertisers who take advantage of beauty to tell us what we need to buy are lowering the status of women to satisfy their own selfish want for money. The women are simply pawns in KFC’s greater plans to have every 18 to 25-year-old men go to the Colonel’s for lunch.
However, this sexist plot may backfire. Putting “double down” on a young woman’s behind probably doesn’t bring a guy’s mind directly to food.
Having a woman in an advertisement isn’t wrong, but disrespecting her in the process is. There’s a clear line between displaying men and women equally and respectfully in an advertisement and using their bodies to sell products just for the company’s gain.
My body is a gift, unique to me. It is under my responsibility and care. It isn’t a cheap advertisement. It isn’t a precursor to free coupons or gift certificates. It’s a part of who I am and it deserves as much respect as the other aspects of my personality do.
And so I give a sarcastic thank you to KFC for teaching us that it’s OK to use women as cheap scapegoats. It doesn’t matter that their bodies are used to sell food that will only make us unhealthy and you richer. Apparently KFC, it doesn’t matter that you have made a point of saying that your main target is men, as if women don’t eat fast food. As long as you get a nice chunk of change from the new demographic you’re reaching, and swarms of college men eat your new sandwich, you don’t seem to care what you’re doing to these women.