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Dannon ad sells women, guilt, and, oh yeah—food

Date: May 8, 2013 | Posted By: Elizabeth

Woe to the woman who enjoys food and does not restrict: society just doesn’t seem to like her.

Women, guilt, and food are constantly working together to sell products. But half the time, it’s hard to tell what those products are: the women, the guilt, or the food.

The great news? Dannon’s latest Light & Fit commercials have ‘em all, so you won’t have to figure out which one they’re selling.

A current Dannon commercial shows a woman going through her day while a man with a bullhorn follows her, shouting the names of foods she is avoiding.“Donut! Cookies! Chips!” etc. The woman responds by giving the man patronizing looks and telling him, “It’s not gonna happen.”

The fact that a man is representing the woman’s “guilty” thoughts is a bad sign. The fact that the man is labeling certain foods as “bad” is an even worse sign. And the fact that the woman is ignoring all of her cravings and eating yogurt instead? Well, bless her heart — that’s just going to end in disaster.

Dannon’s choice to have a male “guilt voice” is interesting. It likens the allure of men to the allure of food. Women in commercials have guilt over food because they view it as “forbidden” and “seductive,” just as they view men. The woman in the commercial is not only saying no to the man’s food, but also to the man himself.

The food the woman rejects is clearly being labeled as bad. But foods on their own have no moral values. People (like the man with the bullhorn) create them.

We see the woman be a valiant warrior in her fight against all those evil donuts and cookies in the world, but we don’t see the woman realize that yogurt does not provide the same flavor and fulfillment as actual meals. We don’t see her binge, then feel guilty, then diet, then binge, and repeat until epiphany: it’s okay to eat real food! In fact, several medical professionals actually recommend it!

How many times do companies have to make ads like this before there is a change? When will the day come when an ad shows a woman enjoying food, not because it’s low calorie, fat-free, or “guilt-free”, but because (heaven forbid!) it’s good?

I’ll leave you with this refreshing clip that hits the nail on the head.

Elizabeth is a Minnesotan who loves psychology, theatre, and anything related to horses. She seeks to understand why the world is the way it is through critical thinking, and when that fails, she just employs sarcasm.




What Do You Think?

2 Responses to Dannon ad sells women, guilt, and, oh yeah—food

  1. shirley on 05-10-2013

    Thanks for posting this. Awesome blog!
  2. Ells on 05-15-2013

    Not even to mention that a piece of good quality chocolate, or (gasp) even oven chips is actually much healthier (and, assuming that she has slimming in mind, as it normally goes with these ads) much more diet-y, than this danone plastic piece of edible substance (because not food, thats for sure), because its full of preservatives, e-numbers, all sorts of bad, artificial stuff that blocks normaly bodily functions and does nothing to your body whatsoever. I would rather have a 600 calorie quality , fresh cheesecake for delicious dessert than this artificial 80 calorie piece of junk.