Tuesday, 2 April 2013

Women, chocolate and stupid (but probably effective) marketing

Special K! Now with chocolate! For the ladies! Because ladies love chocolate! But ladies still want to be slim! And Special K will help you stay slim while still indulging your love of chocolate!

Yes, that would be Special K, the breakfast cereal that has been marketed in a patronising manner for as long as I can remember as the breakfast cereal of choice for those who want to be slim and fabulous. That would be the same Special K that has more sugar than a slice of McVities chocolate cake - and that is before Kellogg's adds the chocolate.

Ugh. It's all part of a whole load of idiocy when it comes to marketing food to women and in creating myths that people end up believing. Special K is one of many foods marketed as a ticket to slenderness, even when it is not particularly healthy.

But this isn't about health, is it? It is about looking fabulous. And while there is nothing wrong with looking fabulous, Special K, now with chocolate, is a stupid way to try and attain the weight loss that is associated with all this fabulousness.

If you are an adult and you want to eat Special K with chocolate for breakfast, that's fine. That's your choice. But if you are deluding yourself that it's a healthy breakfast, it's not an informed choice. If you know it's not healthy but you eat it anyway, again, that's your choice but at least you have some awareness about it.

Sadly, when it comes to food, smart women make dumb decisions with alarming frequency. Cue the rise of diets that cut out entire food groups (usually carbohydrates, despite not all carbs being created equal), for example. Or any sort of quick-fix weight loss solution that does not involve exercise or permanent lifestyle change, for that matter. Lifestyle change is boring but it's not as marketable as sexy simple solutions. Or Special K with chocolate.

The marketing of Special K with chocolate as some sort of indulgence (while still keeping you all slim...) is just part of a mass unhealthy relationship with food that is all too common. This is the attitude that labels chocolate or cheese or a dessert as "naughty" - rather than it being something to enjoy as part of a normal diet.

It is rare for a man to say he is being naughty as he tucks into a sticky date pudding. The culture of naughtiness surrounding certain foods infantilises women, creates guilt where none needs to exist, and results in obsession. But companies like Special K need this mentality to continue if they are to sell food under the false guise that it is both healthy and an indulgence. Then again, when it comes to Special K, we shouldn't expect too much from the cereal that was sold with this lame advert: Australian Special K advert from 1991

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for sharing such a nice post,related to the health,i always curious to maintain my health,beauty and style every day.