The Burger King “Manthem” commercial is back on TV, almost identical to its spring 2006 version. And it’s time for me to add my voice to those of many other bloggers who have expressed their dislike for this ad spot.
Although I have been a vegetarian since 1993, my dislike for this ad has nothing to do with the Texas Double Whopper burger itself or the I Eat Meat slogan. Many people eat meat, that’s fine with me if that’s what they want to do. My dislike stems from the appropriation of Helen Reddy’s 1972 song I Am Woman, which was used as an anthem for the women’s liberation movement which was just taking flight around that time. And even though Reddy herself said that it was a “general empowerment song,” the fact is that it is specifically about the gender divide and Burger King has cruelly twisted the song’s history. How many young Americans are not familiar with that song? Do they think it’s a catchy jingle? How many think it’s a good perversion of a classic protest anthem? Would they be so willing to endorse a corporate-generated version of “We Shall Overcome” if it was written to sell hamburgers?