The portrayal of Chocolate in the media has continually been scrutinized over the years for it’s over sexualization, racist undertones and objectification of not just women but also men. That being said I wasn’t keen on picking an advertisement on the route of these typical media presentations to be scrutinized. I found it important to find an advertisement I though broke down those barriers and eliminated these egregious representations. These representations often include and are not limited to the satisfaction chocolate brings to white individuals often of the heterosexual orientation. (Robertson) The reason being that sex has been “identified” as a direct drive for the sale of chocolate products. However, the Hershey Company has been able to avoid the prior ills of the media representation of chocolate with a number of ads focused on “Hershey’s S’mores Around The Fire”. Hershey Company is able to put the worries of viewers to rest because of their ability to create an advertisement that disassembles the stereotypical means of making chocolate desirable.
What can be seen from this short 15-second clip is a media campaign worthy of recognition. Hershey Company was able to create a presentation appropriate in all facets whether the viewer is trying to analyze gender, age, race or sexual orientation. From analyzing this campaign in depth there seems to be a pretty strong focus on equality of all the above components that could be dissected. The male to female ratio seems relatively even and also seems to leave sexual innuendos to the wayside. This helps to eliminate Robertson’s suggestion that “Whilst men may be the bearers of chocolate, women are positioned as consumers…” because both men and women are equally enjoying the pleasures Hershey has presented both of them as consumers. There is no determining that the men presented the chocolate for the sole pleasure of the women. In fact, this would prove false as the men are taking equal pleasure in the accessibility of the chocolate to make S’mores.
Secondly, there is a strong mix of race. There doesn’t seem to be a single aspect that could be taken as racially insensitive. The media presentation shows mixing of race to be natural, the way it should be. Hershey presents a sense that in fact color of a person’s skin doesn’t even exist, the connection between all the individuals is seamless. Which is unlike many advertisements that have existed when mixing of races has occurred. Stereotypically chocolate was used as the fuel for these relations but Hershey has presented chocolate just as an enjoyable treat individuals can have while coming together as they foster relations on their own. Hershey’s Chocolate additionally presents itself as merely a treat for all ages. Individuals of differing age groups are seen taking part in the pleasure chocolate has to give. It is not for sexual desires, a fuel for relationships whether they be white, heterosexual, interracial etc… The commercial even concludes by stating, “You make it special. Hershey’s is mine, yours, our chocolate.” Demonstrating the power individuals as well as their relationships have over chocolate as a product and not what the product of chocolate has on them. It is merely a treat to be enjoyed and not a product to objectify or insensitively belittle any person or being. A review of the famous song “This is How We Roll” by Florida Georgia Line, which plays in the background, summing up the commercial perfectly. Matt Bjorke states the “song is all about feeling good with people you love to be with” and same could be said about the enjoyment of a Hershey’s Chocolate Bar. The enjoyment only heightens when you experience the tasty treat with people you love to be with.
After analyzing this Ad by Hershey I took it upon myself to find an article in which they presented something that could be easily criticized for the way their product was being portrayed. I couldn’t come up with a single image that was racially insensitive or objectified individuals whether they male or female etc… Which made me curious about Hershey as a company and I came across their Shared Goodness Campaign and Cocoa Sustainability Strategy.
This campaign seeks to “bring goodness to the world through great tasting snacks. One smile, one moment and one person at a time.” Shared Goodness has three major components: Good Business, Better Life and Bright Future. It is through socially and environmental responsible and sustainable manner that Hershey wants to have a positive impact on the communities its serves the individuals they employee while also increasing their commitment to education in order to keep their legacy strong in support of children in need. Lastly, through their Cocoa Sustainability Strategy, Hershey “seeks to modernize cocoa farming to increase farmer incomes, attract new farmers and improve cocoa growing communities. The 21st Century Cocoa Sustainability Strategy will also help accelerate Hershey’s commitment to purchase 100 percent certified cocoa by 2020 for all chocolate products around the world.”(Hershey Company)
There is no better solution based off of this advertisement and the inability to find a “controversial” marketing piece by Hershey.
Bjorke, Matt (25 November 2013). “Album Review: Florida Georgia Line – Here’s To The Good Times…This Is How We Roll”. Roughstock. Retrieved 7 March 2014.
Robertson, Emma. Chocolate, Women and Empire: A Social and Cultural History. Manchester: Manchester UP, 2009. Print.