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.

Women alone with chocolate in TV commercials

The blog lives! :-) It’s been an exciting few months behind the scenes, resulting in this extended absence from posting. More on recent developments soon.


In February’s Women Being Seduced By Chocolate post, I explored the heavily gendered and sexualized images of women consuming chocolate in stock photographs. As a follow up to these still images, I’ve been exploring moving ones — specifically images of women in television advertisements for chocolate. TV commercials offer a slightly more nuanced (though just slightly) approach to chocolate marketing and stereotypical gender and sex roles.

Here are nine examples featuring women alone with chocolate in commercials. Variations on this theme are to come next week. These ads were produced within the past five years (most within the past two or three), and some are currently running on TV where I live.

Most of the ads depict women craving, testifying, or dreaming about chocolate, then eating it, all in various states of sensual arousal. The ads also frequently portray chocolate as a guilty pleasure or consolation prize, thus toying with societal norms surrounding abstinence and gender performance. In a space of time as short as 15 to 30 seconds, a woman is introduced, caricatured, and titillated by chocolate consumption, depending on how we, the viewers, choose to interpret things. See for yourself:

Russell Stover cuts right to the chase with this ad, called “Women Love Chocolate”:

Previously featured in the Chocolate Rooms post, this Kellogg’s Special K ad depicts chocolate cravings as a woman’s guilty pleasure that can make dreams come true without expanding waistlines:

DOVE Chocolate’s “Only Human” commercial offers chocolate as a consolation prize for the physical and emotional challenges of femininity:

This US ad for Werther’s Original Caramel Chocolates gets more suggestive about what chocolate can do for a woman. “I just want to sink into this sofa with a bag of these…”:

The UK Werther’s Original Caramel Chocolates ad takes the suggestion even further, showing a woman having a strong, if bizarre reaction after trying the sweets:

Ghirardelli’s “Rendezvous” commercial has a simple message. A woman + chocolate = a sensual love reward:

Two more DOVE ads, the first from the US and the second from Russia, suggest that eating chocolate is a total body physical pleasure:

Perhaps the most boldly obvious is York Peppermint Pattie’s “Get the sensation,” a series of commercials with similar content. In this example, a woman takes a bite with sensuously parted lips, goosebumps rise on her skin, her pupils dilate, and her breath quickens. Subtle, it is not:

What do you think?

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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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