Have you seen the new commercial for Fling, the Mars candy bar for women? Here it is.
Very nice—quite the double entendre. (And far more clever than suggestive beer commercials aimed at men.)
According to Advertising Age, “Print work for the brand declares ‘It’s not cheating if you don't feel guilty,’ ‘Your boyfriend doesn’t need to know,’ and ‘Pleasure yourself.’”
Mars representative Ryan Bowling told Advertising Age that “the concept for Fling – which has been in development for more than two years – was to develop a ‘permissive indulgence’ for women.”
Wow. So women need permission to eat a candy bar? Hey, the 1950s called, they need their gender politics back.
Some critics are saying give me a break—and not the Kit Kat kind—over the Fling campaign.
“What the candy companies don’t quite understand is that for those of us who truly love candy, we don't see it as gender-specific,” wrote a blogger on the site Jezebel. “And for every bar like the ‘Fling,’ … that arrives, the idea that candy is something women should feel guilty or careful about is perpetuated, leading to a public perception that some things are ‘bad’ and ‘good’ for women to eat.”
Liberal mag Mother Jones also weighed in saying Mars has tapped “the under-utilized market of paranoid heterosexual women whose eating habits are monitored by their boyfriends.”
Mother Jones added:
“The PR packages that went out to media outlets contained sheer T-shirts that read ‘Try It In Public,’ equating the act of women consuming sweets in front of other people with being as taboo as committing sex acts in front of them. Couple this with the oppressive pinkness of the campaign, and one is left wondering when marketers will figure out that in order to make women buy things, they do not have to, literally, shove sparkles down their throats.”
Wonder what the Twitter-ati and mom blogs will say about it?
And since we're talking about gender politics and marketing, here's a 15-second clip from Mad Men, the TV show about advertising in the early 1960s. The main character, Don Draper (played by Jon Hamm) ponders writing ad copy geared at women.