Women Objectification in Carl's Jr TV Advertisements

  • Ivi Meiccel Vidia Universitas Negeri Surabaya
  • Pratiwi Retnaningdyah
Keywords: women objectification, audience reception


The purpose of this paper is to explore the Indonesian youth audiences’ reaction to objectification in Carl’s Jr American TV ads. In the ads, white women become the focus of the ads and represent the product as a way to promote Carl’s Jr. The study aims at examining the representation of women in the ads from the audiences’ eyes and the audiences’ reaction to the objectification. Moreover, Frederickson & Robert's Objectification theory serves as the theoretical framework upon which women objectification is examined within the feminism and cultural contexts. The result of this study reveals that the audiences think the white women in the ads are being sexualized and objectified as the product that is being promoted. Furthermore, the audiences also think the women’s existences are reduced as a commodity to lure in male customers and increase the products’ sales. Some of the audiences think there is nothing wrong with the ads, some are neutral with it, while the rest wants the ads to be stopped.
Keywords: Women objectification, audience reception.


Aubrey, J. S., & Frisby, C. M. (2011). Sexual objectification in music videos: A content analysis comparing gender and genre. Mass Communication and Society, 14(4), 475–501. https://doi.org/10.1080/15205436.2010.513468
Calogero, R. M. (2012). Objectification theory, self-objectification, and body image. In Encyclopedia of Body Image and Human Appearance (Vol. 2). https://doi.org/10.1016/B978-0-12-384925-0.00091-2
Carl’s Jr. (2010). Kim Kardashian Carl's Jr Commercial [Television commercial]. Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DzmFrcuwuuo
Carl’s Jr. (2012). Super Bowl Ad : Kate Upton Carl's Jr Commercial [Television commercial]. Retrieved from https://youtu.be/BpWlYZzJ9iY
Carl’s Jr. BBQ Best Pair (2012). Ti [Television commercial]. Retrieved from https://youtu.be/hKAeiftUCbw
Carl’s Jr. (2015). The All Natural Burger [Television commercial]. Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WlUvQkW4B1k&feature=youtu.be
Carl’s Jr. (2016). Bacon 3-Way Burger “Fantasy” [Television commercial]. Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xpWMU0lUmR8&feature=youtu.be
Davis, S. E. (2018). Objectification, Sexualization, and Misrepresentation: Social Media and the College Experience. Social Media and Society, 4(3). https://doi.org/10.1177/2056305118786727
Elinwa, O. J. (2020). Audience Readings and Meaning Negotiation in the Film Viewing Space: An Ethnographic Study of Nollywood’s Viewing Center Audiences. SAGE Open, 10(3). https://doi.org/10.1177/2158244020939537
Espiritu, B. F. (2011). Transnational audience reception as a theater of struggle: young Filipino women’s reception of Korean television dramas. Asian Journal of Communication, 21(4), 355–372. https://doi.org/10.1080/01292986.2011.580852
Fredrickson, B. L., & Roberts, T. A. (1997). Toward understanding women’s lived experiences and mental health risks. Psychology of Women Quarterly, 21(2), 173–206. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1471-6402.1997.tb00108.x
Gramazio, S., Cadinu, M., Guizzo, F., & Carnaghi, A. (2020). Does Sex Really Sell? Paradoxical Effects of Sexualization in Advertising on Product Attractiveness and Purchase Intentions. Sex Roles, (2018). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11199-020-01190-6
Grogan, S. (1999). Body image: Understanding body dissatisfaction in men, women and children, third edition. In Body Image: Understanding Body Dissatisfaction in Men, Women and Children, Third Edition. https://doi.org/10.4324/9781315681528
Hall, S. (1973). Encoding and decoding in the television discourse. Stencilled occasional paper. Training In The Critical Reading of Televisual Language, (September).
Kilbourne, Jean. Killing Us Softly 4. Directed by Sut Jhally, 2010. Media Education Foundation. https://shop.mediaed.org/killing-us-softly-4-p47.aspx
Lennon, S. J., Zheng, Z., & Fatnassi, A. (2016). Women’s revealing Halloween costumes: other-objectification and sexualization. Fashion and Textiles, 3(1). https://doi.org/10.1186/s40691-016-0073-x
Rector, J. M. (2014). The Objectification Spectrum: Understanding and Transcending Our Diminishment and Dehumanization of Others. In Oxford University Press.
Schrøder, K. C. (2019). Audience Reception Research in a Post-broadcasting Digital Age. Television and New Media, 20(2), 155–169. https://doi.org/10.1177/1527476418811114
Stewart, K. (2015). Establishing the female gaze: narrative subversion in Lucrecia Martel’s La niña santa (2004) and La ciénaga (2001) . Journal of Iberian and Latin American Studies, 21(3), 205–219. https://doi.org/10.1080/14701847.2015.1179850
Szymanski, D. M., Moffitt, L. B., & Carr, E. R. (2011). Sexual Objectification of Women: Advances to Theory and Research 1ψ7. The Counseling Psychologist, 39(1), 6–38. https://doi.org/10.1177/0011000010378402
Vance, K., Sutter, M., Perrin, P. B., & Heesacker, M. (2015). Research on perceptions of rape: The medias sexual objectification of women, rape myth acceptance, and interpersonal violence. Journal of Aggression, Maltreatment and Trauma, 24(5), 569–587. https://doi.org/10.1080/10926771.2015.1029179
Yoo, E. E., & Buzinde, C. N. (2012). Gazing upon the kingdom. An Audience Reception Analysis of a Televised Travelogue. Annals of Tourism Research, 39(1), 221–242. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.annals.2011.06.002