Snickers, Sex and Violence
by Vi3ws on February 25, 2017 - 4:08pm
Gendered World Views 345-102-MQ
February 24, 2017
Analyzing an Ad: Women in the Media
Today’s commercial world is filled with subtle yet strong messages. A problem that has grown more and more prominent is the lack of relevancy to the product that the advertisements has. In addition to the poor taste of many of these advertisements, the subject matter sends the wrong message to a target audience that it is not yet ready for.
Snickers’ commercials, and other publicities have gained popularity due to their now famous “You’re not you when you’re hungry” commercials. This one in particular features a woman undressing. This is the first red flag; Snickers, a chocolate bar company should know that their consumers come from wide age range. Subject matter like such should not be exposed to the young consumer who simply wants their fix of chocolate and peanuts. In addition to the blatant irrelevance and inappropriate content, this advertisement promotes the idea that men must always be slick and seductive. It refers to the incapability of being such while hungry. This plays to the classic stereotype of women constantly being “in the mood” and men effortlessly satisfying the insatiable lust of women. This sexualisation of chocolate is made even worse by the violent undertones of this picture. Front and center of the picture are two boxing gloves. This obviously alludes to the dexterity needed to unhinge a bra strap, and the incapability to do so because of the gloves, but after initial analysis, the advertisement also carries the message of domestic violence. The slogan could be interpreted that a man or woman would act out of character and become violent when their hunger is not satisfied by a Snickers bar. The last of the numerous messages is a bit more subtle. Under the logo at the bottom of the advertisement, the word “satisfies” appears. This is yet another sexualisation of the chocolate brand as it draws a connection between sexual satisfaction and the satisfaction of hunger.
What makes this so problematic is that children, teenagers and adults alike are constantly flooded with media and consumer content that carry these same messages. In effect, their mind and ego become polluted with these messages, without the slightest notion that what they are seeing is not in fact reality. According to Miss Representation, “American teenagers spend more than 10 hours a day consuming media, most of it filled with content that objectifies women and distorts their bodies.” (Jennifer Seibel Newsom). This proves the susceptibility of the teenage mind to messages that seem subtle but are effective nonetheless. The dangerously volatile and gullible mind of a teenager is easily dragged into the normalization of rape culture and the sexualisation of every day behaviour.
Sex sells is an excuse used far too often. The truth is that it is simply untrue, “It is true that sexual and violent programs pull larger audiences than neutral ones, but a larger reach does not necessarily translate into more sales for advertisers” (Addady). Rather than using an out-dated and falsified tactic, advertisers should instead focus on the benefits of the product itself. Although seeing sexual images may result in people remembering the brand more, it does not make the product itself more attractive, in turn not resulting in more sales. What would result in more sales is making a good product that sells itself by simply stating facts about it. An example of this would be if Snickers decided to advertise the taste, health (relative to other chocolate bars) and nutrition facts of each bar. If the product is actually good, it will fly off of shelves. Although sex and violence may be the most eye-catching of subject matters, nothing sells more than value and joy, two things that food companies should strive to deliver.
At the end of the day, the prominence of sex and violence have become far too dominant in consumer culture, but there are ways to counteract the seemingly irreparable damage these trends have caused on the market. Although advertisements like this are meant to sensationalize the constant sexualisation of everyday life, they end up being counter productive by being so blatantly over the top.
Addady, Michal. “New study shows that sex doesn’t actually sell.” Fortune, 19 Aug. 2015, http://fortune.com/2015/08/19/study-sex-sell-advertisements/. Accessed 25 Feb 2017.
Gray, Emma. “Snickers Ad Tells Men To Eat Chocolate Before Sex.” The Huffington Post, 1 Aug. 2012, http://www.huffingtonpost.com/emma-gray/snickers-ad-satisfies-tells-men-to-eat-before-sex_b_1563847.html. Accessed 25 Feb 2017.
Miss Representation. Dir. Jennifer Siebel Newsom. Virgil Films & Entertainment, 2011. Film.