Tag Archives: diva

GoDIVA; Go Away With the DIVAs!

Godiva Diva Marketing Campaign

In 2014, Godiva came out with a GoDiva marketing campaign, emphasizing the “Diva,” in women. The purpose of advertising and marketing is to sell a product. In the case of Godiva, their product is chocolate, so we can assume their goal is to sell that chocolate. Looking at this specific ad from Godiva, we are able to see that chocolate is not the main focus. Godiva chooses to market the chocolate by pairing it with a highly stereotypical and sexualized scene. Photo analysis proves the word choice, the woman’s position, and the placement of the chocolate are “selling sex” and playing on gendered stereotypes. Godiva, marketing their chocolate in this way, loses the idea of selling chocolate in their ad, but instead is selling the idea of desire. They sell the woman in the ad and what the woman  are symbolized as. Consumers are not focused on the chocolate, but instead on the woman which Godiva portrays as an object to desire. The ad hints at promising more than chocolate, it hints “promises of intimacy.” (bittersweetnotes)

This is an image from the Godiva “Diva” chocolate campaign. The image is focused almost completely on the woman. Not placing any emphasis on the Godiva Chocolate product, but instead on the desire “in her eyes.” 

It’s All in the Eyes

“You can see it in her eyes,” is what the GoDiva ad reads. By looking at the models eyes, you don’t see anything but a woman trying to look fierce and model. She is making direct eye contact with the camera, not even noticing that she has chocolate on her chest. There is no connection in her eyes that would make you think she wants chocolate. By looking directly into the camera, any desire she may have for chocolate is lost because she completely disconnects herself from the chocolate. Also Godiva emphasizes the word “Diva” in their logo, stereotyping women. They play on the stereotype that women act like Diva’s wanting luxurious, expensive, unnecessary goods.  Here the gender is linked with class. “The emphasis is on identifying with, or pairing to, high social status through consumption.” (26 Robertson) The boldness of the word “Diva” is specifically targeting a higher class, alluding that this is a luxurious and decadent good. This is a way to “clearly distinguish between brands,” (29) and also limit the scope of their consumers. They make this a very stereotypical ad, using a beautiful white women in elaborate and intricate clothing to target a consumer base of wealthy and higher class customers.


Lingerie or Chocolate

The woman’s positioning in this ad is very sexualized. She looks as if she is in a Victoria Secret photo shoot, and posing as if she were trying to sell lingerie. The woman is laying down, one hand is above her head while the other lightly drapes across her chest. The model also is dressed in fancy, low cut clothing that could easily be mistaken as lingerie. She is the main attraction in this ad, not the Godiva chocolate product. The ad “paired the set of themes […] of selling chocolate, romance and sex.” (bittersweetnotes)  The chocolate is strategically placed right by the woman’s chest, on her exposed skin. Again, this chocolate placement is suggesting desire, not for the chocolate, but for the woman. It is a way of “objectifying women as sexual objects to maintain male morale.” (31) With the highly sexualization of this woman, the focus becomes entirely of the woman. The eye contact with the camera, the lying down position, the skimpy clothing, the tussled hair and the smoky eye make up create an ad that sells sex, not chocolate. Continually we are seeing deviation from the focus of chocolate as the main attraction of the ad.

Here we have another Godiva “Diva” campaign. Again, we see that there is no focus on the chocolate. The model doesn’t even look as if she wants to eat the chocolate. She is more focused on making eye contact with the camera and giving a “sexy” look. She is modeling, not selling the chocolate, or even modeling the chocolate to make it look good. 


A New Ad

To make an ad that focuses on selling chocolate, the ad must be marketed to a larger and more diverse crowd. By using this model and emphasizing Diva, the scope of consumers reached is limited, it is made to seem as if it is a product only for high class people. In the ad that we created we took out all the background noise and focused on the product, chocolate. Instead of limiting the consumers and stereotyping people we marketed chocolate as a product for everyone by including the words “Godiva Chocolate. It speaks for itself.” This was a way to push back against the sexualized words in the original ad that alludes to the desire in the woman’s eyes. In this ad, we keep the wording very simple and focused on the chocolate. We do not emphasize any words that would target a specific class or gender of consumers.


Just Godiva Chocolate

In our ad, we also kept the aesthetics very simple. With no risk of sexualizing or stereo typifying the ad, we decided not to include any women or men. We didn’t want to target or exclude a gender or race. The chocolate is simply the chocolate and that is the way we advertised it.  The chocolate is not targeted to anyone specifically, instead, we make it a chocolate that is consumed by all and for all to enjoy. In this way we are able to expand the reach of the ad.

Screen Shot 2016-04-06 at 10.01.16 PM.png
The Godiva Chocolate Ad Created by Marissa Balleza, Alexander Kerfoot and Tyler Moy. It is simple and focuses on the chocolate. Nothing else. 


The GoDiva “Diva” campaign was a highly sexualized and stereo typified ad campaign that stole the focus from chocolate and moved it onto the woman. By taking the attention off of the selling product, the campaign reached a limited scope of people and lost the true meaning of the purpose of the campaign. Simplifying the ad and focusing on the chocolate allowed the chocolate to be marketed to everyone.


Works Cited

Robertson, Emma. Chocolate, Women and Empire: A Social and Cultural History. Manchester: Manchester University Press, 2009.

Martin, Carla. “Male-Female Relationships and Chocolate in TV Commercials.” : Bittersweet Notes. WordPress, 2016. Web. 07 Apr. 2016.


Chocolate Advertising’s Love Affair with Gender, Class and Sexism

Chocolate advertisements have been targeting  women since cocoa and chocolate became available to the working classes in the nineteenth century. The chocolate companies recognized the role of women as the household’s primary decision makers and purchaser of their family’s nutritional needs. (Robertson, 2009)  The chocolate company’s advertisements have evolved over the years to adapt to the evolution of the roles that women play in society. In 2004 Godiva launched their Diva advertising campaign featuring women in the image of sexy, upper class divas holding a Godiva chocolate.  The tag line read “Every Woman is One Part Diva Much to Dismay of Every Man.”


First let’s define the word Diva. According to the Merriam Webster online dictionary a Diva is a “Prima Donna or a famous and successful woman who is very attractive and fashionable.” It was a clever marketing campaign as it manipulated the brand name Godiva by separating the first two letters, Go and the last four letter Diva as a message , Go Diva to symbolize empowerment for women. The woman in the advertisement is dressed in what appears to be a sleeveless neutral colored night-gown trimmed with a few rows of lace and  a pale blue shawl or blanket is draped over the middle of her back and arm.
Her surroundings are understated however they exude elegance and entitlement.  The sparkling crystal chandelier glitters and your eye barely register the well placed antique pale blue vase that all but blends into the pale blue background. The main feature in the image is a woman whose age is somewhat difficult to determine. However, it is safe to say between 18 and 35 years of age.  She has long brown tousled wavy hair and is glancing over her shoulder straight at the camera with sultry, kohl lined eyes holding a chocolate truffle between her thumb and forefinger.  The lace on her night-gown creates a sense of feminine innocence which is in contrast to aura of post coitus satisfaction in the woman’s look.  The tag line is “Every Woman is One Part Diva Much to Dismay of Every Man.”  The Godiva Diva campaign used this tagline to send the message to women that every woman is a Diva that deserve Godiva chocolates.  No man was needed to purchase Godiva chocolates for them. The ads suggest that when you consume Godiva chocolates, you are an upper class, sexy Diva that will feel the same positive emotions that the woman in the ad exudes. Reinforcing the message “a pleasurable guilty treat to be enjoyed alone.”  (Robertson, 2009) With the Diva ad campaign Godiva continues the marketing trend that “maintains the link between women, chocolate and sex” that has been around since the 1940’s (Robertson, 2009.)

How do we push back against these advertisements that exploit gender, race and class to reach their target markets?  In my revised advertisement for the Godiva Diva campaign the imagery and tag line is modified to send the same message as the original campaign which is that while consuming Godiva chocolates you’ll feel like a Diva.

godiva ad.final

The revised advertisement is void of the blatant sexism and racism by the absence of the image of a tousled haired Caucasian woman. However, to be true to the aim of the original intended audience of  the Godiva Diva campaign I included images that refer to gender and class in the revised advertisement .  The revised tag line reads: Every woman is one part Diva so Dive In! The message to women is the same, you are a Diva and you deserve these chocolates. The main focus of the ad is the sumptuous looking assortment of chocolate truffles. Faded into the background of the image is a diamond encrusted tiara that  generally  evokes an elite class and female gender based perception. The diamond tiara sends a subtle message to the consumer that the truffles are consumed by the elite royalty perhaps a Prima Donna princess or queen. The tag line gives all women permission to enjoy Godiva truffles – Every woman is one part Diva, so Dive In.  You deserve these chocolates as much as anyone.

Chocolate companies need to get on board with advertising chocolate products to women consumers  with less blatant sexism and gender bias and realize that their message can still be heard  that all women are one part Diva and deserve to consume Godiva chocolate.


Works Cited

The Wall Street Journal online. Godiva Appeals to the Diva Within by Cynthia Cho. September 13, 2004. http://www.wsj.com/articles/SB109502924679815780. date accessed April 6,2016.

Merriam Webster Online Dictionary – Diva. http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/diva. date accessed, April 6, 2016.

Robertson, Emma. “Chocolate, women and empire: A Social and Cultural History.” Manchester University Press, New York. 2010.

Google search images. Godiva Diva Ad Campaign feature photo. http://media260chocolate.qwriting.qc.cuny.edu/2014/03/03/godiva-appeals-to-women-with-diva-campaign/ date accessed, April 4, 2016

Revised Godiva Diva Ad designed by Black Rock Advertising and Publishing, LLC, The South Shore Magazine.

Chocolate Divas: Gender Stereotypes in Chocolate Advertising

As Emma Robertson writes in Chocolate, Women and Empire: A Social and Cultural History,  “the meanings of production and consumption have been created, controlled and contested, in gendered and raced ways, by those involved in the chocolate industry.” (4)  Chocolate advertisements both historically and in recent years have adhered to this, often portraying women and people of color in stereotypical ways.  Unfortunately, Godiva’s 2004 advertisement campaign based on the motif of a modern-day diva failed to escape this negative history of chocolate marketing.  The $5 million Godiva ad campaign aimed to increase sales among a younger twenty-five to thirty-year-old demographic, broadening Godiva’s target market from their traditional customer base primarily composed of women thirty-five and older (Cho).

Part of Godiva’s 2004 diva ad campaign. http://files.coloribus.com/files/adsarchive/part_647/6476105/file/chocolate-everywoman-small-84618.jpg

This ad is part of the Godiva diva campaign and features Frankie Rayder, a Victoria’s Secret model, as part of its attempt to appeal to younger consumers (Cho).  Visually, the ad resembles the content of high fashion magazines—such as Elle and Vogue, where it appeared—with the richly patterned dark wallpaper, ornate vase, and chandeliers in the background.  The luxurious trimmings of the setting reinforce Godiva as a luxury chocolate brand, making Godiva more appealing to upscale buyers.  The model appears to be the same age as the target demographic—a woman in her late twenties—and is styled in a fancy yet seductive way.  Her clothing seems well-made and expensive, but it is unclear whether she is wearing a dress or fancy nightgown.  Similarly, the model’s hair is styled in loose curls that are slightly unkempt, adding to the sultry look.  Her pose is also feminine and alluring, but not particularly strong, as expected of a diva.

While the pose and styling are not particularly fitting of a diva — often associated with strong, independent modern women — the major issue with this Godiva ad is with its text, which reads “Every woman is one part diva much to the dismay of every man.”  The second half of the text equates diva with bossiness, stubbornness, or other of its negative connotations, as being a diva is apparently something that men don’t like.  Also, the end of the text suggests that women are somehow failing to gain the approval of men; not only does this go against the positive idea of a diva as a independent modern woman, but it also makes the ad heteronormative, excluding a portion of Godiva’s new target market who may not identify as heterosexual.  Referencing men in this ad in such a way is especially unusual since the campaign aimed to increase sales among younger women buying chocolate for themselves, not receiving Godiva chocolates as a gift (Cho), so who cares what men think in this case?

Parody ad of Godiva. Original image: http://www.esquire.com/cm/esquire/images/KN/Esq-110513-Woman-Hitting-Office-Man.jpg
Parody of Godiva’s 2004 diva ad. Original image: http://www.esquire.com/cm/esquire/images/KN/Esq-110513-Woman-Hitting-Office-Man.jpg

My partner and I created a parody of Godiva’s 2004 diva ad that is perhaps more fitting of the original Godiva ad text.  In this ad, a woman with a box of Godiva chocolates is acting crazily towards a man, driven mad by the desire for chocolate, while the man looks frightened.  Also, since the second part of the Godiva ad text seems to suggest old-fashioned gender roles with women expected to be subordinate to men and seeking their approval, this image is black and white and the styling is reminiscent of the 1940s.  While this image is purposely exaggerated, it does visually connect the Godiva ad to a longer history of chocolate advertising, in which women are depicted as narcissistic irrational consumers, acting crazy as a result of their desire for chocolate (Robertson, 33).

Our response to Godiva's ad. Original image: http://www.exoticexcess.com/wp-content/uploads/2008/08/estee-lauder-chocolate-decadence-autumn-2008-look.jpg
Updated version of Godiva’s 2004 diva ad. Original image: http://www.exoticexcess.com/wp-content/uploads/2008/08/estee-lauder-chocolate-decadence-autumn-2008-look.jpg

In this response to the original Godiva ad, we chose a woman who represented a more positive modern image of a diva.   The straight-to-camera pose and the sleek, professional hairstyle present a stronger, more confident woman.  However, we wanted to avoid the idea that a woman must be overly businesslike or masculine to be strong or taken seriously, so we chose a woman that balanced professional styling with a fashionable outfit and feminine makeup.  The resulting image presents a confident young woman representing the contemporary diva of Godiva’s new target market, while still retaining the luxurious, upscale feel associated with a premium chocolate brand.  For the text, we chose to keep as much of the original as possible, eliminating the second half of the text that appeared with the original Godiva ad.  Now, the text emphasizes positive connotations of the word diva and unites all women, rather than excluding non-heterosexual women.

Part of Godiva’s 2004 diva ad campaign. http://files.coloribus.com/files/adsarchive/part_648/6481905/file/chocolate-dark-chocolate-small-51123.jpg
Part of Godiva’s 2004 diva ad campaign. http://files.coloribus.com/files/adsarchive/part_647/6476055/file/chocolate-white-chocolate-small-11241.jpg
Part of Godiva’s 2004 diva ad campaign. https://chocolateclass.files.wordpress.com/2014/04/4ff20-rohinitiwari.jpg

The diva motif has cropped up in a number of chocolate advertisements in recent years, but unfortunately, only the more negative connotations of being a diva have been emphasized.  The rest of Godiva’s ads from their 2004 campaign have similar issues in terms of the poses, styling, and text, portraying female consumers as fashion or appearance obsessed and overly concern with social norms, as well as continuing to sexualize them.  Cadbury also came out with a diva-themed ad in 2011, in which they referred to the supermodel Naomi Campbell by name, and equated being a diva with being hotheaded and pampered.

Cadbury 2011 diva ad. http://i.huffpost.com/gen/284072/NAOMI-CAMPBELL-CADBURY.jpg

While these ads do not live up to their potential, the diva motif can definitely be reclaimed and used in an appropriate way in chocolate advertising by focusing on the positive aspects of a diva: confidence, sassiness, strength, and independence.


Works Cited

Cho, Cynthia H. “Godiva Appeals to the Diva Within: Chocolatier’s Upcoming Ads Target Younger Consumers; Dinner with Sarah Jessica?” The Wall Street Journal 13 September 2004. http://online.wsj.com/news/articles/SB109502924679815780

Robertson, Emma. Chocolate, Women and Empire: A Social and Cultural History. Manchester, UK: Manchester University Press, 2009.

Chocolate and the Diva Complex

The world of chocolate as we know it today, is a complex realm that is intertwined with a tumultuous history of brutal exploitation and sweet confections. This intricate history is reflected in the production, consumption, and selling of chocolate in present day. Today’s chocolate advertisements are an interesting reflection of how chocolate has evolved through the ages. As discussed by historian Dr. Emma Robertson, “the meanings of production and consumption have been created, controlled and contested, in gendered and raced ways, by those involved in the chocolate industry” (Robertson 4). This cannot be more apparent in advertisements such as Godiva’s “Diva” campaign, released in 2004.

Original Image Source: http://files.coloribus.com/files/adsarchive/part_647/6476105/file/chocolate-everywoman-small-84618.jpg
Original Image Source: http://files.coloribus.com/files/adsarchive/part_647/6476105/file/chocolate-everywoman-small-84618.jpg

The campaign focuses on the idea of a “diva.” Here, they depict an attractive woman coyly holding a Godiva chocolate. The tagline boldly states, “Every woman is one part (Go)diva much to the dismay of every man.” The intention of this print ad is very clear: Godiva is attempting to convey that eating their chocolate will bring out the inner diva of a woman. “Diva” seems to portray the image of an independent woman, one that rebels from men. Aside from the actual messaging, the model’s body is positioned in a sultry manner, and her facial expression screams mischief and daring. The actual aesthetic of the image itself is shot almost like a fashion editorial spread. The entire setup indicates that Godiva is specifically targeting women. Vice president of marketing at Godiva North America, Jacqueline Lenart, built this campaign on the philosophy that, “Inside every female is a diva.” (Cho). This is a smart move given that two-thirds of Godiva’s customers are women. (Cho). In fact, these ads were featured in women’s magazines such as Vanity Fair and Vogue, which explains the editorial nature of the ad. However, as Cynthia Cho of the Wall Street Journal pointed out, “Building an ad campaign around the word [diva] might seem a tad risky…as diva suggests pride and strength, but also a certain brash self-centeredness.” (Cho).

Original Image Source: http://www.esquire.com/cm/esquire/images/KN/Esq-110513-Woman-Hitting-Office-Man.jpg
Original Image Source: http://www.esquire.com/cm/esquire/images/KN/Esq-110513-Woman-Hitting-Office-Man.jpg

Given what we now know was intended by the advertisement, it is shocking to think that the creators of this ad did not think about other ways the ad may be perceived. The image above is our interpretation of how we understood the bold tagline of the Godiva ad. Their use of the word “diva” was, in fact, a dangerous choice. To start, “diva” can conjure up many images, but this particular tagline seems to portray cockiness and a bad temper, qualities of a diva that we all dislike. This is why our interpretive image includes a woman throwing a box of Godiva chocolates at a man. The original ad paints a picture of the classic, hot-tempered diva. In addition, the tagline is incredible gendered in that it implies that chocolate turns women into sassy, unbearable harpies, at least as understood by men. The end of the tagline, “much to the dismay of every man,” implies that women’s behaviors and looks are the subject of men’s scrutiny. Not only does this reinforce a dangerous, patriarchal understanding of gender roles, but it also presents a highly heteronormative approach to gender relationships.

It is also interesting to go back to the visual aspects of this ad. It is ironic that the messaging is intended to suggest that women can be strong and independent divas, but this clashes directly with many of the visual elements of the ad, which seem to be appealing to the insecurities of women and the gaze of men. The tagline adds another dimension of problematic representation to the aesthetics of the original ad. While the model’s body pose is sultry, it is also submissive. The hunched shoulders signal a loss of confidence and power. And just as her facial expression can be interpreted as playfully dubious, it is the face of what we would could classify as a “seductress” with her carefully tousled, bed head hair and smoky eye makeup. Finally, the fashion photo shoot setup could be passed off as an innocent tactic to target their core audience, but it can also be seen as a general remark that women only care about fashion and aesthetics and that they care more about the looks than the meaning.

Original Image Source: http://www.exoticexcess.com/wp-content/uploads/2008/08/estee-lauder-chocolate-decadence-autumn-2008-look.jpg
Original Image Source: http://www.exoticexcess.com/wp-content/uploads/2008/08/estee-lauder-chocolate-decadence-autumn-2008-look.jpg

Given all of the problematic elements that we pointed out above, we created a response ad that shows that a mere simplification can create a world of difference. We chose an image that portrays a woman who looks decidedly more confident and independent than the model in the original ad. She is facing forward and looking directly into the camera, almost daring the viewer to judge her. Even the way she is holding the chocolate shows that she is an active agent in making the choice to consume, rather than a passive consumer who had a chocolate placed in her hand. In regards to the actual messaging, the tagline becomes infinitely better once we lop off the second half . “Every woman is one part (Go)diva” is effective without the gendered and heteronormative afterthought. Letting that first line stand alone leaves the word “diva” up for interpretation. Carey Earle, founder and managing director of Harvest Communications, commented, “There is something aspirational about it that can appeal to a broad range of woman.” (Cho). I disagree with that sentiment because the tagline lets women interpret “diva” as they wish, and then lets them down by keeping the term within a man’s perspective. Instead of creating and reinforcing negative stereotypes, advertisements should be a personal experience in which the consumer can interpret and apply the product to their own life. A diva to one woman could mean being a needy opera prima donna, and to another it could mean being the future Bill Gates. Chocolate advertisements, as well as advertisements in general, have the potential to create positive experiences, which will eventually lead to sales. Chocolate advertisers should seek to create opportunities for independent interpretation and discourse rather than confining themselves to the patriarchal and heteronormative confines of much of today’s advertising standards.


Cho, Cynthia H. “Godiva Appeals to the Diva Within.” Wall Street Journal [New York] 13 Sept. 2004: n. pag. Print.

Robertson, Emma. Chocolate, Women and Empire: A Social and Cultural History. Manchester: Manchester UP, 2009. Print.