How Far Is Too Far

The concept of sexualizing a good to sell it is nothing new. Even though people object to it, it is undeniable that sex sells. In the chocolate marketing industry it is no different. Earlier on, the targeting of women with chocolate advertisement came from the idea that women were the ones who made the decisions when it came to groceries and thus chocolate buying. As time went on the advertisements shifted to a much more sexualized style. One where they could capture women’s attention thorough their want to be or have what the women in the picture has and also the man’s attention by using attractive women that project a sexy image. There is no doubt that chocolate has become a symbol of sex appeal. This begs the question whether or not the chocolate advertising industry couldn’t use any other, more appropriate methods to sell their product

Advertisement from Godiva’s “Diva” campaign


This first picture is part of Godiva’s “Diva” campaign, which started in 2004. The campaign shows women aroused by the chocolate they are promoting. In this one specifically, we see a woman laying on her back with the chocolate piece on her chest. The chocolate, which they are actually advertising, is the smallest part of the picture and at first glance the picture can be easily mistaken for a lingerie advertisement. The model chosen for the picture along with the poses and her facial give the picture sex appeal. The strategy behind it has nothing to do with how good the chocolate is or doesn’t tell us anything about the chocolate. It just makes us believe that something about the chocolate is sexy. Whether we give it or receive it, this chocolate is something that is desired. The whole sexualization of the advertisement is topped off with the word play they use in the campaign name by highlighting the diva in the Godiva.


As an alternative, I suggest that chocolate brands let their chocolate do the talking in an advertisement campaign called it speaks for itself. In this advertisement we see chocolate selling itself. It shows the outer layer of the chocolate and the rich creamy inside. The reason why I think this advertisement is not only beneficial to an industry that sexualized women unnecessarily but it is also an advertisement that is would work not on the concept of selling an idea or a feeling but rather selling through what the product really is. The campaign would bring a sort of righteousness to counter the mainstream chocolate advertisements which uses the sex appeal tool to sell. Overall, an advertisement of this type would align with moral values that people share where women or men bodies are not used as props to sell something that really does not have anything to do with sexy.

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Our ad from the Speaks for itself campaign

Overall, I think it is important to draw the line at some point. The sexualization of women should be a thing of the past. Chocolate advertiser shouldn’t be disempowering women through their advertisements but rather they should be empowering them or at at least selling their chocolate for what it is. I would suggest that instead of getting more and more scandalous,  chocolate advertising should take a leap forward and actually use advertisement to make their product the main focus of their campaigns.


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