Media Analysis: Chocolate

PART ONE: Individual Examples + Analysis Cori Lindsoe Questions: Why are the men in this commercial depicted as divas when they complain rather than just being themselves? Why are the men shown as being more reasonable and relaxed than the divas? This example teaches us that men are supposed to be easygoing and reasonable while women are the ones who complain and make life more complicated. The men who complain are shown as divas rather than being themselves. This means that when men are cranky and moody, they are supposedly not being themselves whereas women who are cranky and moody are being themselves. This is directly stated at the end of the commercial when the voice says "you're not you when you're hungry." In addition, the men are dressed simply in shirts and sweatshirts and all have facial hair while the women are all dressed up in fancy clothes and makeup. Men who allow for their facial hair to grow rather than shaving it off every day appear to be more willing to give up control of their surroundings and let life pass by in the easiest possible manner, whereas the women attempt to control life by modifying their appearance with makeup, hair products, flattering and bright-colored clothing, etc. These meanings are created and reinforced at the expense of women and at the benefit of men. The commercial suggests that women and men are always at a constant battle to get along. For example, the man in the back of the car tells the diva to eat the snickers so "we can all coexist." It puts the blame on women in heterosexual relationships, suggesting that they, never the men, are the ones who make things more problematic than they really are. Katherine Mejicano m&m.jpg Questions: 1.How are we meant to interpret the yellow M&M in this ad? How does this impact societal perceptions of stalking? 2.What are the ramifications to our society and culture if the only "female" character in a group is also the only one who is sexualized? How does that affect our perceptions? Analysis: There is a myth that started in the 1970s that green M&Ms were an aphrodisiac. While this myth is rarely heard of today, it helped influence the creation of the green M&M character: female, sexualized, and with no visible personality. The problem with this portrayal is that the other M&Ms in the group (the red one and the yellow one) both are male and have obvious personalities. The red one is the leader and the yellow one is the goofy sidekick. This teaches us that, while it is acceptable for there to be a variety of male personalities, the only trait that matters for women is their sexuality. Furthermore, this advertisement features the yellow M&M falling out of a palm tree with a pair of binoculars behind the green M&M. The implication is that he was spying on her and fell. This trivialization of stalking has a direct affect on how sexual violence is perceived in our culture, treating it as an insignificant joke that isn't serious or harmful. This perception silences many victims and makes it harder to speak out about sexual violence, which in turn often allows perpetrators to escape being held responsible for their actions. Kevin Gaffney old-hershey-kiss-ad.jpg Question 1: How is Hershey's playing into human desires surrounding relationships in order to sell their chocolate? Question 2: There is definitely an innocent/youthful element to this add, while at the same time there is a blatantly implied relationship of a physical nature between these two pre-pubescent figures. Do you think this is appropriate? We all remember the couples that caused ripples on the playground when they announced they were dating back in 1st grade... for many of us this was the first exposure we had to the concept of "going out". Hershey's taps into these childish notions of love and relationships through this add, which pictures two kids sharing a "kiss". I think it is interesting to note that in this advertisement it is the girl who is "giving" the kiss to the boy, which to me conjures up the societal norm of males perusing females, instead of the opposite way around. Gender roles are clearly enforced through this situation. I believe that today it is just as common for a girl to be making the moves on a guy as it is for guys to take the first step towards a romantic encounter. From my perspective, this is an important form of female empowerment, because is shows that women have just as strong desires/determination as men do when it comes to the social game of courtship and dating. Chelsea Carlson •Why are women the most targeted for low calorie/ weight loss products in advertisements? •Why are women constantly associated with "girlhood" and childishness in the media? In the commercial I chose a woman is presented riding in a taxi and enjoying the candy product that is being advertised. Out the window of the taxi she sees various women engaging in several stereotypical, female, childhood games like hopscotch, jump rope, tree climbing etc. She then tells the cab driver to pull over and runs from the cab to a nearby merry-go-round. The product is a low calorie chocolate candy yet the woman eating it is rather thin. Sex is brought into the advertisement by showing the viewer an example of a socially acceptable, attractive woman. She is thin, she is beautiful, she has gorgeous hair and she is thoroughly enjoying their low calorie brand of candy which brings her to a carefree place filled with childish fun. This reflects the idea that women should be both weight conscious, regardless of how much they actually weigh, and childishly simple. It seems that almost all advertisements that relate to weight loss and dieting are targeted towards women. This sends a loud message to women and girls that tells them to work to become or remain thin, a message that isn't sent to men quite as loudly. The impact is a world where women resort to drastic measures in order to fill this requirement like eating disorders, unhealthy diet plans, diet pills, malnourishment, etc. Part 2: Group Analysis Our choice topic for the media analysis was chocolate in advertising. Chocolate is a product that is often directly associated with femininity and sexual desire. There is no denying the strong presence of women and sexuality in chocolate ads. Because society can often view women as "chocolate crazed," the industry has taken a special liking to appealing to women's satisfaction. In the case of the Snickers commercial, the divas are viewed as hungry, childlike complainers satisfied by the chocolate so they can become happy. So with that in mind, it boils down to how women are portrayed in these ads and the messages they receive in them. These ads often imply a sort of sexual exquisiteness or indulgence, directly correlating these ideas with femininity. The hyper sexualized green M&M is a good example of this. Unlike the male M&Ms, her primary attribute is her sexuality rather than any sort of personality trait. This sends the message that, for a woman, sexual appeal is more important than personality. Or, like in the Snickers and Oreo 100 calorie pack commercials, the sense of childishness and immaturity is used hand in hand with femininity. The Hersey's Kiss ad is a good example of how romance is exploited as well. All these ads in combination send a strong message to women and men alike that sexualizes not only those who consume the product, but also the product itself, turning it into a false aphrodisiac. It is interesting to consider the contradiction between the expectation of women to be thin and the idea that a woman should often crave and indulge in chocolate. So to summarize, the most recurring themes we noted during our analysis of chocolate ads were female sexuality, childishness, immaturity and indulgence.

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