Monday, February 24, 2014

Nina Agdal's breasts promote Lentburger

Video tip via Burger Business

While exploiting women's sexuality to sell fast food is nothing new for Carl's Jr./Hardee's, there are some things else worth mentioning in this one:

That's 2014 Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue cover model Nina Agdal and her Charbroiled Atlantic Cod Fish Sandwich.

Atlantic cod is a problematic fish. Once a staple of northern Atlantic nations, the cod population has collapsed on the North American side. The European population, with the exception of "the northeast Arctic, Iceland, Baltic and Celtic Sea" is considered overfished. Fortunately, this source quotes Hardee's (CJ's eastern counterpart) saying that their fish "comes from 100 percent sustainable fisheries in the Icelandic Exclusive Economic Zone."

That's a relief. But there's another interesting backstory to this promotion. Apparently, the reason you see so many fish burgers promoted in the late winter is because of Lent. From Ash Wednesday to Easter Eve, many pious Christians (especially Catholics) symbolically fast by giving up meat and other rich foods. Fish, which was not considered "meat" in the Middle Ages, became the go-to protein during this several-week abstinence.

Think this is an obscure motivation for a fast food marketing program? Here's a Time Magazine article from last year:
McDonald’s isn’t the only quick-serve chain that’s chosen the early part of the calendar year to launch a big fish initiative. This week, Carl’s Jr. and Hardee’s introduced the Charbroiled Atlantic Cod Fish Sandwich at all locations around the country. The company announced the new sandwich was aimed directly at consumers tweaking their diets during Lent, and also folks concerned about eating more healthfully in the new year:
“For almost half-a-century, whenever fast food customers wanted to get a fish sandwich during Lent, they had one choice: fried,” said Brad Haley, chief marketing officer for Carl’s Jr. and Hardee’s. “With our new Charbroiled Atlantic Cod Fish Sandwich, we’ve changed all that. For the first time in the industry, our guests can get a premium-quality fish sandwich that tastes great and is lower in calories because we charbroil it just like we do our burgers.”
Piety, abstinence, sexual voyeurism, and dieting.  It all makes sense together. At least, in the United States it does.

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