Chocolate advertisements tend to produce some of the most controversial advertisements of today. These advertisement stop at nothing to sell their products to their consumers and as a result contentious topics like racism and sexism become prevalent. For example Rolo has released an advertisement campaign surrounding the question: do you love anyone enough to give them your last Rolo? All of Rolo’s advertisements for this campaign entail separate love stories where the apex of love is equivalent to sharing the last Rolo with your love interest. These advertisements with a specific emphasis on “Office Hottie-Daydream” reinforce sexualized stereotypes in chocolate advertisements such as females getting aroused by chocolate, men as bodies but not brains, and the narcissistic female.
In “Office Hottie-Daydream” which is embedded below, two female friends at work consume a package of Rolo’s together while discussing their attractive white male coworker and the extreme lengths they would go to go on a date with him. They state that the would be wiling to get hit by a truck, get stapled to a desk, or roll around in a blanket of bees just to date him. This extreme discussion perpetuates the aroused female by chocolate stereotype. It showcases that for the females here “chocolate has possessed…in more ways than one” (Robertson, 30). Jill Lane’s article “Becoming Chocolate, a Tale of Racial Translation” also outlines this notion by discussing an advertisement called “Chocolate Possession” in Spain. In this advertisement, “the image features Spanish actress Paz Vega in a montage both before and after she is “possessed” by the pleasure of Magnum’s chocolates” (Lane, 382).
Later, in the Rolo’a advertisement, the man approaches them and seemingly only addresses the white female and asks if she is going to eat the last Rolo. It begs the question why didn’t he address both women equally or address the non white coworker. A dream sequence then commences in the advertisement where the male is running with the white female on the beach in a speedo while she is still in work clothes. This highlights the notion in chocolate advertisements that men are depicted for their bodies which is an attempt to advertise to women. In the advertisement, they then eat Rolos together and the female’s friend suddenly appears and simply gives her a high five. However, once the daydream ends, the white female worker quickly pops the last Rolo into her mouth. Thus, highlighting that she chose the last Rolo over the possibility of being with her attractive coworker. It shows that the sexualized man use to be her fantasy but now her fantasy has shifted to the Rolo. This reminds me of Robertson’s discussion of the Dairy Box advert from the late 1940s and 1950s where “men literally fade into the background and the women are defined solely in relation to the chocolates” (Robertson, 33). Similarly, in another love story from Rolo’s campaign below, a white male stranded on an island obtains a crate of Rolos. He then meets a woman who he offers his last Rolo. However, it turns out he can’t go through with it so he snags it back and eats it for himself. In this instance the male is narcissistic when it comes to chocolate as oppose to the female.
To push back again these stereotypes Rolo created with their advertisement, we created an advertisement below that trivializes the last Rolo and highlights a normal relationship. It removes the overly sexualized nature of the Rolo advertisement and also includes a biracial couple. Thus, pushing against the emphasis on having just white coworkers control the narrative of the advertisement. We also wanted to make the point that the last Rolo can be divided and it doesn’t need to be emphasized. The pinnacle of love is not equivalent to sharing the last Rolo with your love interest which Rolo implies. We also came up with the tagline “Share your love, share the last Rolo” which takes away from the narcissistic individual stereotype prevalent in “Office-Hottie Daydream”. It brings the focus back to the relationship of the couple and not on the last Rolo.
The relationships shared between individuals is much more important than chocolate. The gesture of giving your last Rolo to someone else is not equivalent to a penultimate display of love. Attempting to sell your product to your consumer should be the ultimate goal with advertisement. However, there is no need to use sexualized stereotypes as a crutch in order to reach this goal.
Lane, Jill. “Becoming Chocolate, a Tale of Racial Translation.” Theatre Journal: 382-88. Print.
“Office Hottie Daydream – #LastRolo.” YouTube. YouTube, n.d. Web. 10 Apr. 2015.
Robertson, Emma. Chocolate, Women and Empire: A Social and Cultural History. Manchester: Manchester UP, 2009. Print
“The Caribbean Castaway #LastRolo.” YouTube. YouTube, n.d. Web. 10 Apr. 2015.