Food Advertisements

Food advertisements are constantly evolving. However I have noticed that especially within the chocolate and candy industries that the advertisements are getting more whimsical and wacky. Instead of going the classic “indulgence” route, the following three food advertisements deal with a change in personality and persona of the character(s) when consuming the specific food products.

1. Oreo’s Red Velvet Mini Series

Oreo just released a series of 30-second ads to promote their newest cookie flavor: Red Velvet. These ads are placed perfectly before valentine’s day.  AdWeek writes how the Oreo cookie is presented as an ‘awkward aphrodisiac for strangers’, “The brand says they’re meant for people who aren’t psyched about Valentine’s Day….And whether or not Red Velvet Oreos will actually get you laid, one thing is for sure: More people should carry fanny packs with cookies in them.”(AdWeek)

This food advertisement is using sexuality and persuasion. The ’90s cartoon drawings and cheeky elevator-esque music only add to the romantic and cliché tone. Although cute and funny, the ad is hinting on that if you eat that Oreo you could possibly fall in love. Which brings up the question-Is this ethical to relate a cookie to these types of claims?

2. Snickers: Sports Illustrated Ad

Snickers has done many “You’re not you when you’re hungry” ads in the past. Most of them have been TV commercials highlighting a particular person turning into various different characters. Once they have eaten their snickers bar, then they transform back to normal. This particular print ad (above) will appear on the back of sports illustrated magazine.  Invoking the idea that models turn into a Medusa-“whom models apparently act like when they haven’t had a Snickers in a while.”(Adweek)

Again, humor is used as a tool in food advertising. What is interesting to me is that no where on the ad is the snickers bar seen, nor their logo displayed. Because this campaign has been running for a while, people are familiar with this idea.  There is a direct relationship with eating snickers and “returning to normal”. Without a snickers bar, the model looks evil, mad, and even a little scary. Her facial expression and snake-like clothing with snakes on her head add to the image. Eating a snickers bar will transform her back into her normal happy model self. The relationship between eating a specific kind of food and transformation of physical and mental identity is important to recognize.

3. Mars Bar ‘Winning’ TV Ad

This TV commercial shows two men competing and comparing the cleverness of their dogs. One shows that his dog has learned how to jump. The other, and the one with the mars bar, demonstrates this his dog can casually play the flute to a ’80s theme song. At the end, the guy with the flute-playing dog fists the air and the words “Winning” appear on the screen. FastCoCreate says, “It’s the small victories in life that carry us through the day-to-day grind. Though, as triumphs go, the one in this ad for chocolate brand Mars is a little more unusual than snagging the last seat on the subway ride home.”

The weirder the better for chocolate candy bar commercials. Competitiveness, cute dogs, and Miami Vice music apparently make for a great ad. This does not directly relate to the actual chocolate candy bar itself however, but is making the connection between buying and eating a mars bar and ‘winning’ .

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