The Forbidden Fruit: How Do Companies Sell Hazardous Products?

Harder, better, faster, stronger… And funnier.

In Foods on March 1, 2011 at 11:06

How does Snickers use celebrities and masculinity to promote sugar-overloads?
(image © Snickers)

Snickers is promoted as a masculine candy bar that provides power and strength when on a low. The following commercial is one of the latest Snickers commercials leading up to the Super Bowl, featuring Betty White

Snickers is probably one of the most well-known candy bars in the world. The chocolate bar filled with caramel and nuts is a true joy for many people. However too much of anything is not a good thing. In the case of Snickers a little bit more is already a bad thing. Eating one Snickers will leave you with 271 calories and almost 30 grams of sugar. While this is not an alarming amount, it is certainly not a product that can be associated with healthy living or sports. However Snickers thinks otherwise.

The latest commercial featuring American actress Betty White is centred around the Football-field, one of America’s most popular sports. The amateur teams playing against each other in a park consist of relatively young healthy men playing a competitive game of Football. One of the players is seemingly Betty White, however her image is just used to portray the player’s weak performance in the field. After eating a Snickers the commercial turns around and the player portrayed as Betty White is now a young man excelling in the field.

The humour used in the commercial is playful and funny. Betty White is undoubtedly a popular actress in America and she, not taking herself too seriously, immediately adds a form of goodwill and reliability too the ad. This takes away any consensus a viewer might have that Snickers is a possibly hazardous product. The ad makers however take it a step further by both associating Snickers too sports (a sports game is featured and it is broadcasted during Super Bowl) and presenting a connection between eating a Snickers and performance. As a result the image boils up that eating a Snickers might not be such a bad thing, if anything it is a perfect snack to eat before, while or after performing a sport. This linking thus takes away any notices people might have about the hazardous elements of a candy bar like a Snickers and also suggests a positive effect of eating Snickers. From the producers standpoint this a fine piece of advertising, the consumer however might be not as happy when he or she finds out that Snickers do not actually turn you into a healthy sports-hero.


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