Saturday, May 22, 2010

Mmm Mmm Manly is Good...

Campbell’s is known historically to be an iconic American staple of food. Campbell’s soup has a brand of soup called Chunky Soup where there are large chunks of meat and less liquid. This brand of soup has been popularized as being one of the loyal corporate sponsors of the NFL. The obvious marketing strategy is having celebrity athletes endorsing the soup so their fans will also buy the soup.  The dark image of the product and the advertising seems quite selective and targeted to a specific consumer.  Besides have us eat soup with more meat, one must ask what also are they feeding to us?  They are feeding us hyper masculinity by selling guys more meat. Campbell’s Chunky Soup is targeting men as their consumers by using American football and organized sports as their advertising strategy which reinforces the hyper masculinity in American culture.

In America whatever is bigger is better, and that is reflected in our food; the more meat the better. This gluttony reflects in our imperialist history and man’s search for more land, wealth, hence power and the protruding stomach of the man in the top right.Campbell’s Chunky soup is described as fully loaded like the weapons that were used to defend our nation’s land. It is fully loaded with meat and less liquid which makes a masculine meal that should be eaten not only with a spoon but with also with a fork. More meat which is masculine is described as the “good stuff.” Thus not eating meat is bad, it is not masculine. Campbell’s is reinforcing strict gender roles and hyper masculinizing masculinity to make it superior. “Organized Sport has served to bolster a sagging ideology of male superiority, and has helped to reconstitute masculine hegemony,” (Messner 120).

As a marketing strategy, Campbell’s decided to sponsor an American pastime, football for their new brand of soup, Campbell’s Chunky Soup.  Campbell’s like Abercrombie and Fitch is “seeking to accentuate its appeal to adolescent males by creating brand identification with the archetypally masculine young man: the football player, “(Katz 355). Eating soup eaten by male football players makes you a champion as well like the male pageant winner depicted in the middle.   It is not only good to eat this meat but it makes you a winner, or in other words superior. To be a man (like the manliest of men Patrick Swayze) you must enjoy football and eat manly food. So, are you Chunky Enough?

 Works Cited
Campbellschunky. Digital image. Bally Total Witness. 11 Oct. 2009. Web. 20 May 2010. .
Grundfast, Justin. Chunkyman_thumb. Digital image. Justin Grudfast: Graphic Designer. Web. 20 May 2010. .
Holly. FullyLoadedSoup1. Digital image. Feministe. 21 July 2009. Web. 20 May 2010. .
Joe. Chunkysoup. Digital image. The Patriot Report. 27 Dec. 2004. Web. 20 May 2010. .
Katz, Jackson. "Advertising and the Construction of Violent White Masculinity: From Eminem to Clinique Men." Gender, Race, and Class in Media (2003): 349-58.
Lukovitz, Karlene. CampbellsChunky-b. Digital image. Media Post News. 1 Sept. 2009. Web. 20 May 2010. .
Messner, Michael A. “Boyhood, Organized Sports and the Construction of Masculinities” 120-137.
Riedesel, Dustin. RoadHouse Chili. Digital image. The Male Playbook. 14 Dec. 2009. Web. 20 May 2010. .
SBJ20100220901-03. Digital image. Sports Business Journal. 3 Dec. 2007. Web. 20 May 2010. .


  1. Hey Katrina -

    I really liked that you also chose to analyze a food product; I think a lot of people are so used to seeing everything gendered that they don't even think about it, especially when it comes to food. I've been seeing these Chunky commercials for years and I never even thought about it in terms of gender, but it absolutely works. Your third paragraph, the Katz quote in particular, is especially strong in proving your point.

    In terms of what needs improvement, I think we all ran into a similar problem: wanting to say more than our three paragraphs would allow. There are two distinct and separate ideas in your two supporting paragraphs, but not much to tie them together. For example, I think it would have been more effective to move your first quote to the next paragraph and wrap up your argument about hypermasculinity, tying it into football somehow to transition into the next idea.

    But overall this was a really good argument!


  2. Nice job Katrina!
    Your collage turned out fabulous and I Iove your focus.
    It probably would help to have a thesis that reflects the fact that like clinique for men, Campbell is exposing gender in advertising, while simultaneously deploying it to sell a line of soup to a predominantly male demographic.

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