Male-Female Relationships and Chocolate in TV Commercials

We’ve seen Women Being Seduced By Chocolate In Stock Photos and Women Alone With Chocolate in TV Commercials. Now, here are thirteen examples featuring male-female relationships as depicted in television advertisements for chocolate.

First up, there is the common theme of women sexualizing men with chocolate. These commercials tend to go something like this: Women check out an attractive man. The man is in possession of chocolate. Women decide they want the man’s chocolate. All hell breaks loose.

Lindt Lindor Truffles and Roger Federer “Airport” commercial:

3 Musketeers “Catwalk” commercial:

AXE Dark Temptation commercial, particularly disturbing for its play on blackface and cannibalism:

Second, there’s the related theme of women dissatisfied by men finding solace in chocolate. These ads often show men in embarrassing circumstances or failing women romantically while the women enjoy chocolate instead of the men’s company.

Here’s a suggestive FLING Chocolate dressing room ad. “It’s naughty… but not that naughty.”:

M&M’s 2012 Super Bowl commercial marked the debut of a judgy new female character, Ms. Brown.:

A Nestle AeroBar commercial from South Africa, where a pair of rowdy male sports fans make certain not to interrupt a special lady’s private chocolate time because “Everyone knows not to interrupt a lady and her AeroBar.”:

A Nestle “Voodoo” commercial, which manages to merge ugly stereotypes of gender and religion. “As it melts in your mouth, it’s melting your heart.”:

A DOVE Chocolate commercial where a woman’s boyfriend takes on the role of chagrined caretaker because she exists in some sort modern-day female hysteria characterized by orgasmic memory loss upon chocolate consumption.:

Third, we encounter a paired set of themes. The first and more common of the two is that of men selling women chocolate, romance, and sex.

This Laima Chocolate ad from Europe closely links chocolate and symbols of romance and promises of intimacy – a beautiful bed, flowers, doves, a handsome man, pajamas.:

This highly sexualized European commercial targets women by portraying a group of scantily clad muscle-bound men making cookies.:

This Turkish commercial for Biscolata Starz biscuits also aims to entice with erotic imagery.:

Less common is the second in the pair — the theme of women selling men chocolate, romance, and sex. Two examples come from Ms. Green, the first (and until this year, the only) female M&M’s character.

Here’s an ad from the Middle East, showing the female green M&M, Ms. Green, being coy and flirtatious, with two other male M&Ms vying for her attention. The song is Baddi Doub, by Lebanese singer Elissa, and its highly suggestive lyrics include lines like “Let me drink of your love” and “I want to melt.”:

And finally here’s an American commercial featuring Miss Green sensually selling Mint M&M’s Premiums, rendering her male M&M counterparts senseless.:

Watching all of these ads one after the other like this really drives home the old maxim “sex sells” (or “sexism sells,” in several cases above). In the case of chocolate, the marketing is heavily geared toward women yet also disconcertingly focused on stereotypical gender roles. I admit that while some of the ads make me chuckle, I’m mostly bored by their similarity. C’mon now, marketing firms. Let’s see something different for a change!

More chocolate TV advertisements — with still other approaches to traditional gender roles — to come in the next post.


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    Bittersweet Notes is an open source research project on chocolate, culture, and the politics of food. I invite you to join me as I explore the story of chocolate and the life stories of those involved with chocolate at its many stages of production and consumption.

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