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Burger King "Manthem (I am Man)"

Time again to abuse Web 2.0 -- since LiveJournal has introduced embedded video links we may get to have the type of fun on this weblargh that used to be reserved only to Mark Evanier and MySpacers everywhere. Behind the jump is the famous Burger King "I am Man" commercial, which is actually called "Manthem" (a portmanteau of "man" and "anthem") and discussion about the surprising amount of criticism of the ad itself.

Basically, the ad takes Helen Redding's iconic song I am Woman and turns it into celebration for eating a giant fat-ass steak-burger. Honestly, I found it hilarious -- here men are declaring their masculinity in one of the least manly ways possible -- through an impromptu musical number! But it managed to get a lot of complaints from all over the blogosphere for its apparent misogyny -- though I would think that the correct complaint would be misandry, as in saying guys are nothing but neanderthal beasts who must eat giant slabs of meat, and cause destruction throughout town. But I think that's the thing -- the stereotypes are so over the top, the situation so exaggerated, it's not even remotely meant to be taken seriously. Again, what man would announce his liberation through a highly choreographed song and dance number?  The funniest/most tragic thing about the commentary is that very few commenters even bring up the fact that this song parodies Helen Reddy's feminist anthem.  (I think I linked to the single blogger who mentions this.) Funny enough, Burger King had to go to Reddy to get approval to use this song. Apparently, while Helen had some initial doubts, she signed of on it because it was so over-the-top absurd. (from link in comments of this post)
Radio Interviewer: (very agitated) I just want to know if you know about Burger King using your song for a crazy, macho, man, uh, meat-eating ad? Have you seen that?
Reddy: I have not seen the ad, but I did sign off on it, when the offer was made to me, I had a few doubts, but everybody that I mentioned it to, including my sister, laughed hysterically and said; ‘that is SO funny, you’ve got to do it’.


( 1 comment — Leave a comment )
Aug. 11th, 2006 11:23 pm (UTC)
the ad would piss me off if not for my belief that this parody of helen reddy's song [and of feminism, perhaps] is really a parody of masculinity. the exaggeratedness of it all--men flexing their arms as they eat burgers, men throwing a mini-van off a bridge, a man using chains to pull a huge truck-and the irony of the "manthem" being sung and choreographed hint at the ad being the opposite of what it claims to be.

if i thought differently, i would never eat at burger king again.
( 1 comment — Leave a comment )