Thanks to the newest Snickers advertisement, we can now include them in the myriad of companies who do not have the slightest clue how to market their products to women.
I personally have seen my fair share of women being objectified and misrepresented through advertising campaigns, from Kate Upton seductively eating a patty melt, to True Car suggesting that women are incapable of buying a vehicle without the help of their website (or a man). In the world of advertising, women have been routinely considered objects of sex or ridicule.
However, Snickers has managed to problematize the perception of women in a completely new dynamic.
The Australian commercial features a group of male construction workers that immediately follows with the caption, “What happens when builders aren’t themselves?” We then see footage of the workers shouting various “empowering” compliments at many different women walking past them.
Some of the comments included,
“That color works on you,” “Wanna hear a filthy word? Gender bias,” “I’d like to show you the respect that you deserve,” “A woman’s place is where she chooses.”
And then there is my personal favorite comment made in the video,
“Know what I want to see? Society in which the objectification of women makes way for gender neutral interactions, free from assumptions and expectations. You go girl!”
These comments are all just delightful in theory. The problem is that at the end of the commercial, Snickers includes their famous slogan: “You’re not you when you’re hungry.”
Ending the commercial with that catchphrase brings about a multitude of issues. Firstly, it suggests that the only understandable reason for women to be treated with dignity and respect is because of the men’s temporary displacement of sanity due to their overwhelming state of hunger. It is implausible to imagine that women could ever be treated as equal human beings.
Ultimately, the commercial is making a mockery of feminism.
When concepts like gender equality are made the punchline of a joke, it undermines the importance of continuing to fight for equal rights in today’s society. The fact is that on average, women are paid 77 cents for every dollar earned by men, which is one of many startling truths that demonstrate the inequalities women currently face in their daily lives. Making feminist issues the butt of the joke jeopardizes how audiences perceive those issues in the real world.
The commercial also promotes the idea that sexual objectification and gender inequality should be the norm. What happens once the men eat the Snickers bar? Do they magically transform into the polar opposite of being decent human beings? Do the men resort to intimidatingly catcalling females? Not only does this commercial problematize how women should be treated in society, but it also portrays men to be highly predatorial in their natural state of mind.
It is deeply troubling that in the year 2014, a major corporation like Snickers resorts to blatantly offensive tactics in attempt to sell their products.
A more appropriate slogan for the company should read, “Not feeling like a misogynistic asshole? A Snickers will fix that.”