Thursday, November 15, 2007

KFC Commercial Dinner at the Table

In this commercial, Kentucky Fried Chicken or as it is better known, KFC, shows a middle-class African American family. The mother is sitting at the table with her two sons and her daughter. They go around the table saying what the best part of their day was. The mother is seen as passing the bucket of children around to the children so they all pick a piece out. The family looks to be very happy, have a clean looking appearance, and looks natural as to not wearing makeup. After the daughter and youngest son say what made their day so great the daughter asks her mother what was her best part of the day. The mother responded by saying, “Right now.” The oldest son asks her has she ever thought about finding some hobbies in a joking manner and everyone laughs. Right after this, KFC begins its advertisement of his chicken sale it was having during the time of this airing of the commercial. The commercial cuts back to the family making mention that KFC allows families to bond and then it cuts to a medium shot of the mother biting into the chicken. While she is seen biting into the chicken the narrator or rather the person doing the voiceover states that KFC’s chicken “has the same great taste with zero grams of fat.” Finally the commercial ends.

I chose this commercial for the many stereotypes it shows towards black people more so black families. One of the main stereotypes this commercial shows is that black families are fatherless. Some other stereotypes were that chicken makes black people happy and brings them closer together as mentioned in the commercial and in my opinion they are making reference to the stereotype that most black people are obese. I say this from the fact that when they mentioned it “has the same great taste with zero grams of fat” and showed a close up shot of the mother biting into the chicken. I thought of this as being a way to win over the black community because now they can get a whole dinner from KFC since working and being a single parent is such a time-consuming task and they can do it without the fear of gaining weight being a factor. In sense, the chicken is good for you. Maybe I am looking too much into this or maybe I am right on point either way this commercial is full of stereotypes. Chicken does not make black people happy or causes them to bond or become closer together. I am saying this in reference to the Ethnic Notions film we watched in class and how it showed black people excited about food or rather a watermelon in that case. Food is food. Every individual person in this world has his or her own favorite food and just because a few people like it doesn’t mean the whole race loves it. In regards to black people being obese, well that too comes the same film, Ethnic Notions, in regards to the Mammie character. She is supposed to be the caregiver of the children, naturally a mother even though in the film she was not a mother but more of a mothering type of person. In the film, the Mammy character is the only woman I remember seeing and she was always made to be bigger than the white women and looked upon as being more of an obese individual. Now, although the mother in this commercial was not obese or anything it was the fact that KFC mentioned the zero grams of fat while zooming in on her. I just think they could’ve just showed a wide shot of the family as a whole and delivered the message.

Although this commercial has some negative aspects of African American families, I still like the fact that it shows a black family as one with “class.” Typically black people are seen on television as being ghetto, ignorant, and living in bad homes and neighborhoods. Even though the family here isn’t wealthy or upper-class I am happy they are living a decent living especially since there is not a father figure around. In a sense, it makes the black woman look strong enough to keep her family together with one income and still be a supportive mother.

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