Why would someone want to live in such a bacon-laden advertised world, one might ask? It has been observed that, to be effective, an advertisement must grab the viewer's attention. To do so, it must make a quick and arresting appeal. The most appealing strategies are usually appeals to emotions, fear, love, pleasure, or vanity. For alimentary pleasures like food, drink, and cigarettes, quite often the most effective strategy is to stress the fun of using the product. According to the self-perception theory of fun advertising, a consumer would identify the behavior of eating the hamburger as being a person with a "fun loving" attitude.
The ad, it should be noted, strictly speaking, does not begin with the two men, but with a logo, the famous Wendy's girl with the upturned braids. Unremarkable, you might state.
However, "One way to help ensure viewers catch the brand is by using a logo...While viewers engaged in visual processing won't take the time to read a word, a logo allows them to process the brand without having to switch to verbal processing"
In terms of the associations created by the text of the specifically 'Baconater' section of the advertisement, despite the indulgence of the burger, the slenderness of the men conspire to play down the health consequences of the spicy indulgence of the meal. While it might seem to be in keeping with the spirit of the Baconater to show large men hungrily chowing down, this could inadvertently turn people away, even though it might draw their attention to the ad. In fact, the extremity of the burger, if anything, is played down, rather than 'up' in the structure of the ad -- the men do not mention that they are ingesting two hamburger patties, two slices of cheese, and two slices of bacon in one meal.
This may seem odd, given the monstrosity of the burger would seem to be part of its appeal. When asked if the advertisement would motivate them to purchase the Baconater, or the "Spicy Baconator," most friends and family members said that it did look like a 'heart attack on a bun.' However, some male friends did note that although they would not make it a regular order, they might consider ordering it 'once' just to see what it tasted like, for experience's sake. And perhaps that is the real appeal of such monster-burgers -- people, even die-hard fast food consumers do not order them regularly, but the challenge of eating one occasionally lures many people in, which establishes the habit of going to fast food chains in general, for all sizes of burgers.
Boyle, Matthew "Can you really make fast food healthy?" CNN.com. Aug. 9, 2004. http://money.cnn.com/magazines/fortune/fortune_archive/2004/08/09/377886/index.htm (accessed19 Apr 2008).
Clay, Rebecca. "Advertising as science: Consumer psychologists and basic scientists are behind ever more effective advertising campaigns to promote both products and causes." APA Online. 33. 9. October 2002. p.38. http://www.apa.org/monitor/oct02/advertising.html (accessed 19 Apr 2008).
Gresko, Jon, Lynn Kennedy, & James Lesniak, "Social Psychological Factors Underlying the Impact of Advertising. "Social Psychology & Advertising. Miami University of Ohio. 20 Apr 2002. Revised 29 Mar 2003. http://www.users.muohio.edu/shermarc/p324ads.shtml (accessed19Apr 2008).
Lesniak, James "Advertising: Appealing to Fun and Pleasure." Social Psychology & Advertising. Miami University of Ohio. 3 May 2002. Revised 29 Mar 2003. http://www.users.muohio.edu/shermarc/p324ads2.shtml (accessed19 Apr 2008).
Wendy's." Official Website. TV commercials. http://www.wendys.com/ads/(accessed (19 Apr 2008).
Matthew Boyle, "Can you really make fast food healthy?" CNN.com, Aug. 9, 2004, http://money.cnn.com/magazines/fortune/fortune_archive/2004/08/09/377886/index.htm (accessed19 Apr 2008).
Jon Gresko, Lynn Kennedy & James Lesniak, "Social Psychological Factors Underlying the Impact of Advertising," Social Psychology & Advertising, Miami University of Ohio, 20 Apr 2002, revised 29 Mar 2003. http://www.users.muohio.edu/shermarc/p324ads.shtml (accessed19 Apr 2008).
James Lesniak, "Advertising: Appealing to Fun and Pleasure," Social Psychology & Advertising, Miami University of Ohio, 3 May 2002, revised 29 Mar 2003, http://www.users.muohio.edu/shermarc/p324ads2.shtml (accessed19 Apr 2008).
Rebecca Clay, "Advertising as science: Consumer psychologists and basic scientists are behind ever more effective advertising campaigns to promote both products and causes," APA Online, 33, 9, October 2002, p.38, http://www.apa.org/monitor/oct02/advertising.html (accessed19 Apr 2008).