Refuting chocolate covered cliches

3 years ago  •  By  •  0 Comments

It’s undeniable that chocolate advertising is primarily targeted at women, but is this justified?

Chocolate advertsing and edible stereotypes

We challenge you to watch some confectionery adverts and disagree that women are often depicted as moody creatures that devour it as part of a secret, ritualistic, pseudo-orgasmic experience known only amongst those with female gender bits.

(In fact, so pervasive is female targeting in confectionery that Nestlé went the opposite way with its Yorkie snacks, advertised for men only, just to get some exposure.)

But is this the real-world interaction with chocolate?

Well interestingly, science doesn’t prove any of these stereotypes. Research on the subject still has to come to an agreement, with surveys revealing no difference between men and women’s chocolate consumption, and some studies even claiming the opposite. (It’s not down to hormones either, in case you were wondering.)

Nonetheless, Elizabeth Davies, communications manager at Nestlé told The Guardian “If there is an obvious gender split, and the incremental business opportunity can be justified without jeopardising the core brand, then brands will continue to seize the initiative.” Really?

Scrolling through history reveals a different story. Before World War II, chocolate was seen as an aphrodisiac and linked to sex, but was relatively gender-neutral. In fact, it was only in the 1960s when a wave of female independence flooded the country (likely inspired by other variables such as the improvement in contraceptive methodologies) that marketers sought to position chocolate as way of proving one’s femininity, sexuality and freedom of expression (Source: Kathleen Banks Nutter). But in 2014, doesn’t this supposed opportunity just feel a bit outdated and hackneyed?

We believe it’s prime for disruption; and with it being International Chocolate Day on September 13th, we’re hoping for something different.

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