Sex, Sensuality and Salad

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The given snap shots show a television advertisement for Carl's Jr, where sex icon, Kim Kardashian, is highlighted sensually eating a salad to arouse emotion in the audience watching it. After discussing conditioned stimulus, unconditioned stimulus, unconditioned response and conditioned response, I can see how the ad was made to spark a feeling of lust and wonder in the targeted demographic. I've identified each component of classical conditioning as follows:

Unconditioned Stimulus: Sex icon Kim Kardashian
Unconditioned Response: Feeling of lust and sexuality
Conditioned Stimulus: Carl's Jr new line of Premium Salads
Conditioned Response: Feeling of lust and enhances sexuality

By identifying and looking at the four key components of classical conditioning, one can see that Carl's Jr used the advertisement to target women and men by luring them into desiring their product with the sexuality and sensuality presented in the ad.
Is the ad a little overboard? Many will argue yes. But then again, it's supposed to be. In the trend of advertising, I've noticed that a lot of companies use a form of over-exagerated sexiness and humor to spark interest in the audience (prime example- the Old Spice commercials). I'm not saying that it is impossible for one to get turned on by Kim Kardashian rubbing a juicy apple over her lips and then flashing a close up of her breast, but the average adult can see through the demure behind the commercial.

This is what brings me to my question- What does this commercial (and the infinite more that use similar tactics) say about our culture?


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I can definitely agree that this ad is going more than a little overboard. Though it is a bit of stretch to connect sexuality and buying a salad, it epitomizes the purpose of the components of classical conditioning. Strangely enough though, the average adults can't seem to see through the absurdity of commercials. Otherwise they wouldn't be so popular and successful. And sadly enough, by bringing in Kim Kardashian for a salad commercial to somehow "sexify" eating pieces of lettuce and chicken, does not say much about our culture today. The producers of this commercial were also clearly not creative enough to come up with a clever salad commercial that should trigger hunger and not anything that has to do with lust.

I have to say this is the only funny blog I've read. I remember seeing the Carl's Junior commercial with Kim and the burger, but not with the premium salads. Seems like Carls Jr. is now using Classical Conditioning to promote the new generation of healthy eating! Being a marketing major I know that men respond well to sex and women in advertisements while women respond more to chocolate and the feeling of need or love. While these advertisements might be a little overboard as you say, they definitely are working on the average American. Now whether they are getting that turned on construction working male to order a salad or to just pay attention to the Carls Jr. commercial with no actual purchase is the question.

I have to say this is the only funny blog I've read. I remember seeing the Carl's Junior commercial with Kim and the burger, but not with the premium salads. Seems like Carls Jr. is now using Classical Conditioning to promote the new generation of healthy eating! Being a marketing major I know that men respond well to sex and women in advertisements while women respond more to chocolate and the feeling of need or love. While these advertisements might be a little overboard as you say, they definitely are working on the average American. Now whether they are getting that turned on construction working male to order a salad or to just pay attention to the Carls Jr. commercial with no actual purchase is the question.

This type of advertising is very popular in media, but I think that there are certain markets where the sensual, alluring factor works better. For example, perfume commercials always have that type of message, where if you wear the perfume you will be automatically sexier and immediately attract others. I would argue that Carl's Jr, a fast food restaurant, should not be one of the companies to use Kim Kardashian's image to sell their product. Yes,it is a salad, but they should focus on the health factor rather than it being arousing or sexual.

We all know that sex sells and that's why we shouldn't be surprised that all ads we see for a product contain a sexy male or female. While this is a good way for the companies to sell items such as cars, clothes, perfume, any material item really, I think they went a little far in using sex to sell food. Using classical conditioning to sell products is a great way to do it, even though I would argue it's just manipulating the consumer to think they'll become sexier(more appealing, smarter, hotter...) themselves if they own the item in question. Back to the salad ad, on the bright side, at least they are trying to promote healthy choices in fast food.

I can easily see that this ad goes really overboard with the subtle (read "obvious") sexual references in order to imply that if you eat a salad, then Kim Kardashian will show up at your door and help you eat it. We can also over analyze the death out of it, and say that this sort of advertising is the death of our society. Have any of you ever been to Europe? Open any magazine over there and you will find ads with naked women and absolutely no product information other than it's name. This is classical conditioning at its most basic and most effective... it's an ad that caters to our two most primal instincts: food and sex. They use it because it works. Now excuse me, I have to go make a salad.

I find it funny that Kim Kardashian is used for sex appeal in a greasy, fast food restaurant. Perhaps Carl's Jr was trying to show that if you eat their salads, you will become rich, famous, and beautiful just like KimK. It's manipulative to use celebrities in this way; Carl's Jr's food won't associate you with a celebrity lifestyle or let you meet a celebrity. However, the advertisements such as this one are genius because as humans, we respond to things sex and food, both shown in these pictures. The classical conditioning works really well in this advertisement.

I disagree that this commercial is "going overboard." I mean, it's advertising. And in this day and age, basically anything goes. This "passion" being directed toward a salad isn't sexy; it's humorous. If this were an ad for KY, I can see how it would be too sensual for a 30 second commercial, because that actually tells the audience to think about sex. This Hardees commercial intends to be funny. It doesn't expect people to be "excited" to eat a salad. I think the main message of the commercial is to imply the idea that if you eat a Hardees' salad, you'll look more like Kim Kardashian.

Like mentioned it previous comments, sex sells. By incorporating a sexual desire technique with a food item, such as salad, Carl's Jr. is able to target a large audience through subliminal messaging. You did a great job of identifying the stimuli and responses accurately. This technique of classical conditioning has a lot to do with our reasoning behind our purchases and why we do some of the things we do.

As everyone noted above me, sex sells. Prostitution, for example, is the oldest occupation that still exists today. As i'm not an expert, I can only speculate as to why sex is such a predominate motive in humans. I believe it is simply because we are animals, and it is our innate instinct to procreate. Advertisers thrive on our tendency to focus on sex and sensuality. The question at the end of this essay specifically says 'our culture' in reference to our focus on sexuality, but I really think it is a world-wide, race-wide, motivator.

This ad says a lot about our culture today - our love for fast food mixed with the "sex sells" mentality. Carl Jr.'s isn't the only company doing so, DQ once experimented with a deep, sexy voice used for its voice over of the DQ logo selling its Blizzard's and chicken strips and I'm sure it worked well for them as well. This blog explains the entire concept behind the company's goals well - its target audience is clear, as well as its message and classical conditioning is simply the method used to put the plan into action. The ad is definitely overboard and quite the exaggeration but it gets the job done - and does it well - so that's all the company can ask for. From a Psych 1001 students point of view, the ad has its clear stimuluses and responses figured out and doesn't even attempt to hide them from the public eye because no matter what, they work to at least get a laugh out of viewers and associate Carl Jr.'s with a fun sense of humor if not a feeling of lust.

I think these types of advertisement are pretty stupid, especially when fast food places use them and I'll tell you why. I've never thought, oh this food is going to make me more sexy, I better go get it. I know, and most people should know by now, places like Hardees, McDonalds and Taco Bell are not healthy for you and are not going to make you sexier. Yet fast food places always show good looking people eating there foods and remaining healthy and fit. What they should play on, at least more than they do, is the price of their foods, the taste of their foods, and the accessibility of there foods. Because I know these are much more prevalent reasons I eat at fast food places then because I want to look like Kim Kardashian. All that is telling me is my marriage will probably last around 72 days...

This is very insightful and will motivate me to eat more salads from Hardies. In fact, I may have developed a fetish for salads after looking at this ad. If, after being presented with salads continously without the presence of Kim Kardashian (which will most likely be the case),I may experience extintion in which the fetish would go away and the unconditioned response of lusting over my salad would be no more. This is a great strategy for food businesses because it attracts both men and women toward their product due to the attractive unconditioned stimulus!

I would have to disagree with your comment about average adults seeing right through the demure behind this add. While yes, these 'average' adults might recognize and acknowledge how "overboard" the Kim Kardashian stint is, their subconscious mind is telling them something completely different. Part of their mind wants them to see the sexuality in the add keep those images in their mind. When people see a Carls Jr restaurant their mind will immediately flash pictures of the sex-portrayed Kim Kardashian and spark excitement throughout their body. As for what this says about our culture. It says that we are normal human beings. Human beings have always been aroused by sexual images and just because there is an add that seems to be poking fun at this human characteristic does not mean it still wont work.

I would have to agree with the statement that most adults see through the demure behind this add. I would assume most adults are able to recognize that the producers of this add were using Kim's sexuality only to lure people in to what's really being advertised. This does not, in fact, mean that these adults will go buy a Carl's Jr. Salad. To that affect, I believe adult's see through the add. Another example would be that a lot of cigarette adds feature sexily clad women, that doesn't mean that every male is going to go buy cigarettes. Sadly, it is true that our society uses sex frequently in advertising because it seems to be more appealing than other modes of drawing people in. Sex is universally appealing.

Great question to end a brilliant post. When I think of what this ad says about our culture and how we advertise, two words pop into my head: sex and humor. We see Kim in a commercial eating something, wearing something, etc. and we assume "wow Kim's doing it, Kim is sexy. If I do it I will be sexy too!" Exaggerated? Yes. But it is unreasonable? I dont think so. As far as humor goes, that's just simple. Commercials by Old Spice and Doritos straight up make me laugh. I already like the product, but the fact that they continue making strides to keep people interested (or to bring in new consumers) is positive as a user of the product. Bottom line: sex sells.

I think it's funny how far America will go with using sex appeal to advertise products. Maybe it's just me, but leaves, vegetables and chicken do not make me feel lustful..nor would I want them too. But this advertisement does say a little something about our culture: We're obsessed about sexual appeal. We all want to be like our role model stars, whether that means wearing a certain perfume we saw them advertise on TV or, in this case, eating a salad from Carl's Junior. We're all about striving to be "beautiful" and "Sexy" like our role models and will do or buy anything that alludes to the attainment of their desirable traits.

I'm not exactly sure if it is really seeing through the whole 'plot' that the marketing person had in mind. The point is, who care's if you 'see through their plot' because you remember it. If you see through their plot, then it is still in your mind. You see a Kardashian on a tv show, a lot of people will then relate it to a Hardy's salad. That is them doing their job exactly how they wanted it. It was a very good job well done using the US, UR, CS, and CR, because everything played exactly into place for you to remember their product, which is the point of marketing and advertising.

I believe that this advertisement is going overboard, along with a large majority of other advertisements today. Sex has became a center motivation for all different products of advertising. We see it everywhere from food to perfume to cars. We have gone too far, but will we ever be able to change that now? I do not believe so. Advertisements centered around sex has became an American norm, that likely will not be changing anytime in the near future.

I think that sex shouldn't have to sell everything. I mean it is fast food that they are pawning off on us. Fast food to me is by no means healthy OR sexy. I think in the right circumstances certain advertisements would make sense but not for this. I think our culture seems to just want to glorify sex. I think it is just the culture of america as it pertains to this.

It is so interesting to read this post, especially your list of unconditioned stimulus, conditioned stimulus, unconditioned response, and conditioned response. In the world of advertisement, it well explained why business people never regret to invest atronomical numbers to make those scenarios for the audience. To trigger the people's response to purchase the goods, one of the functions the advertisement does is to activate the instinct desire. Once the bridging is successfully, it will nevertheless raise the public preference.

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This page contains a single entry by horwo003 published on February 25, 2012 1:14 PM.

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