Chocolate is booming business nowadays. In 2012, US consumers spent 16 billion dollars on chocolate. A collective 2.8 billion pounds was eaten, an average of 12 pounds per person. (Lecture Slides, personal communication, Harvard Extension School, 2015.) Chocolate tends to be associated a lot with women. It is ´the perfect gift´, women are known for eating it when they feel sad or depressed and women are often found in sexy chocolate commercials. It is how the women’s gender is stereotyped. Discrimination because of gender is very common to be found in chocolate commercials. When is the last time we saw a men in a commercial dripping chocolate over his face? (Which is kind of ridiculous for a women as well!) See the Dove commercial below for a typical example of how women in commercials sell chocolate.
The Dove commercial ‘Senses’.
This commercial shows a woman who puts on a very low, sexy voice. The setting is very dark. She says: ‘only a chocolate this pure can be this silky. And make you savor, sigh, melt. Dove pure silk chocolate. Now with the tantalizing crunch of almond. My moment my Dove.’ When people see this add on television it almost looks normal. When you think it through there are a few disturbing issues in this add. The woman is drenched in brown silk. This can refer to the brown color of chocolate, but can be interpreted to be racial as well. When the woman talks she is filmed very close to her lips. This sexualizes the product to get the attention of viewers. It is a chocolate commercial, there is no need to sexualize it! On the background you hear sexy music. This shows how prejudiced, stereotyped and discriminative commercials can be, typically against women. In our society this seems like a normal advertisement.
This add is from a company called ‘Cacao Metro.’ This company sells organic Belgian chocolate milk, made of high quality chocolate. In the add we see a bottle. In the bottle the following text is displayed: ‘An excellent source of who needs men.’ Obviously this refers to women. Women do not need men, all they need is chocolate, is the message the company says in this add. The goal of the company is probably to appeal to women. This is pure marketing because women eat more chocolate than men do. The add is very disturbing to me. Why do women necessarily need men? Women are not weaklings who need someone who takes care of them. They have the same abilities as men to get education and provide for themselves. In this add we see how chocolate is associated as women being ‘weak.’ Women do not need any kind of source and can stand alone just as men can. This add makes it seem like women always need something or someone to rely on, where they are fine to take care of themselves.
My recreated add.
To recreate this add I made the same bottle, but with a different text. The text is: ‘An excellent source of who needs (wo)men,’ This refers to both male and females. The company would sell its chocolate to more people when its adds are directed to males and females. I used yellow for the accents because this is a color that is not associated with particularly men or women. It shows that chocolate is something for every gender and should not be stereotyped. It can be a pleasure for everyone who wants it!
Lecture Slides Harvard Extension School Spring Semester.
Dove Senses commercial, retrieved from http://www.youtube.com