Can Sex Sell Candy?
April 22nd, 2015
According to the University of Georgia in their 2012 Research, since 1983 the percent of ads using sex to sell products rose from 15 percent to 27 percent by 2003.
Sexually relevant content gets noticed – it strikes curiosity and arouses our emotions.
Reese’s recently posted a commercial for their Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup. Its Title – “Women Like to Make it Last - Men are Done in Seconds - Typical.”
In 15 seconds, Reese’s is able to demonstrate with only a peanut butter cup the time difference between men and women’s sexual activity. No human presence but the peanut butter cup takes on human characteristics and appeals to human emotions and desires by becoming a symbol for sex appeal.
How about Green M&M’s® high-heeled, knee-high boots, luscious lips and accentuated eyelashes? A small, round piece of chocolate takes on real human characteristics and uses her sex appeal to lure in potential buyers. Ms. Green M&M’s® is featured on the back cover of the 2013 Sports Illustrated Swimsuit edition and in a short video “Jessica Perez and M&M’s® Ms. Green/2013 Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Edition”
In the video she is described as “Fabulous, Fearless, Fun, and incredibly delicious,” and she can be heard saying “Let’s just say I make this chocolate work for me…right boys?” Does she make the chocolate work?
Would watching either of these two ads persuade you to buy M&M’s or Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups? Considering the target audience is humans and the candy takes on human characteristics and personalities – does their sexualization appeal to the wants, needs and desires of humans’ emotions?
While you are pondering your answers to those questions, think about the impact these ads could have on children. The Reese’s ad recently aired on ESPN during the 7am hour. This is a time slot when teenage boys could potentially be watching that station. What message is being sent to these young adolescent boys? And, it’s not just young boys. What about a little girl – or any young child – who may be searching videos on YouTube and they just so happen to stumble across either the Ms. Green M&M’s or the Reese’s ads, or any sexually enticing candy ad for that matter? It is quite possible that children will ask their parents to buy these candy brands because they are curious about what they just saw – maybe they will think that by eating the candy, they too can “make their chocolate work.”
So, you be the judge… Can Sex Sell Candy?