Sex sells. This is a reality in our society that we have become accustomed to. Ads feature women suggestively interacting with anything from cars to chocolate. Even if their is no risqué material, a woman may be shown to be caught up in the indulgence of consuming chocolate. This can be an image of closed eyes or big smiles, many compiled by Dr. Carla Martin on the blog Bittersweet Notes. This kind of gendered advertising appeals to both women, who want to be like those in the ads, and men, who want the women in the ads.
An example of gendered advertising. A woman playfully runs from a chocolate wave.
There are, however, some ads that aren’t sexist, and in fact have started to push back against the aforementioned norms. The ad below is one that is heading in the right direction. A woman is going for a jog when a soccer ball comes into her path. A group of men are playing a game of soccer nearby and one arrogantly yells to the woman to “Hey, give me the ball. Come on, girl.” As the woman dodges players on her way to shooting the ball in the goal (and giving the players a lesson), it is revealed that she is a professional athlete.
“Anticipation. Focus. Execution. That’s what I’m building with chocolate milk,” is what the woman says as she is shown to be drinking chocolate milk after her jog. This ad evokes a powerful emotion from the viewer that chocolate has made this woman powerful and successful. She is not one to mess with, as shown by the schooling she gave to the sexist soccer player.
This ad is a stark difference to ones that sexualize women. While the claims that chocolate milk is healthy and responsible for her athletic abilities can be debatable, the message that women are more is a welcomed one.
My ad is meant to bolster this movement. I believe it is healthy for both women and men to see ads advertising strength and goals in place of the redundant sexualization of bodies. I have taken images of different athletes featuring chocolate milk in an effort to show energy and perseverance. This is chocolate to be enjoyed by all, a more equal approach than showing an elite, Caucasian woman enjoying chocolate. It is meant to inspire. Chocolate can still be indulged in without zooming in on a pair of lips or breasts.
Coe, Sophie D., and Michael D. Coe. The True History of Chocolate. New York: Thames and Hudson, 1996. Print.
Robertson, Emma. Chocolate, Women, and Empire: A Social and Cultural History. Manchester, UK: Manchester University Press, 2009. Print.
ChocolateMilkRefuel. “BUILT WITH CHOCOLATE MILK’s Newest Athlete, Soccer Star Kelley O’Hara.” YouTube. YouTube, 20 May 2015. Web. 08 Apr. 2016.
LoveSchmitten. “Priyanka Gets Wrapped in the Luxury of Schmitten Chocolates in New TV Ad.” YouTube. YouTube, 25 Nov. 2015. Web. 08 Apr. 2016.
Martin, Carla. “Valentine’s Day: Women Being Seduced By Chocolate.” Bittersweet Notes. 14 Feb. 2012. Web. 08 Apr. 2016.