Food commercials have always been competitive, in that these commercials you will receive a wide range of strategies that try and persuade you to choose the rhetors product. The big question is, which one will speak to you? Lets take a look at one specific company and what types of strategies they use.
One common strategy I noticed was the use of sex appeal. After all, don’t you want to order a bacon cheeseburger after watching a beautiful woman take a bite of one? Me either.
Fast food powerhouse Carls Jr. uses this strategy a lot. So what was the point? I think it is safe to assume that the majority of the population believes that fast food is not healthy. So in turn, people tend to stay away from fast food. What Carls Jr. did was take the biggest, thickest, juiciest burger they could come up with, put it in the hands of what we would assume is a paid model, and presto we have a situation that debunks the unhealthy belief towards fast food. In other words when an average person sees this commercial they get the impression that even the most gorgeous individuals are eating this product, so it is safe for you to do so as well. But is this the only strategy used? I dont think so.
There are multiple ways to persuade you to buy from carls Jr. we have covered sex appeal already, so what else is there? Lets take a look at the Burger itself. My favorite just so happens to be the Guacamole burger, so when I am at the counter getting ready to order what do I look up and see? The menu board of course. But did you ever find it odd that the picture on the board looked vastly different from the food in front of you? This is the second strategy, the appeal of the food itself. This tactic targets an audience who may be hungry at that given time. You will see this a lot on the side of the road near major highways and interstates. In this situation you would be targeting hungry travelers looking for a quick bite to eat. You will also notice that these signs may appear at lets just say 100 miles before the given destination. This is playing on the chance that people are starting to get hungry, and are now starting to think about where they will stop to eat. If you are traveling and see this particular sign you are automatically drawn to the establishment, and as you travel that 100 miles you are so hungry by that point, the only thing you can think about is that billboard you saw 100 miles back. Then without fail you find yourself pulling in the parking lot.
There is a final piece to this puzzle that I think has become very effective, and that is slogans. Carls Jr. for example has adopted the slogan “If it doesn’t get all over the place, it doesn’t belong in your face”. I know from personal experiences attending barbeques, that the best tasting foods are in fact messy. I think this slogan was designed to target your average american males, in a sense that it gives the impression that when you order this product you will be satisfied in knowing that it has the same characteristics of your own barbeque burgers. Henceforth creating a common bond between person and establishment. After all what is the overall goal of having a barbeque? To eat good food with a group of friends and family. Along with this it is a slogan that is easy to remember, and actually has become very popular because it can be tied into aspects of everyday occurrences. So when you catch yourself using the Carls Jr. slogan you also will find yourself thinking about what products they serve, and just maybe you will stop in later for lunch.
I have covered three different strategies that Carls Jr. has used, and the crazy part is these three strategies are used all at the same time, in the same commercial. This leads me to believe that using one specific strategy would only vastly limit your target audience. So to be more effective they use a multitude of tactics to try and target as many people as possible. But not only target as many people as possible, but also to plant that product or slogan into our brains in an effort to ensure we never forget.