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Questions to Consider:

  • What product is this advertisement selling?
  • What story is this ad telling?
  • How does the girl know the boy will buy her a sundae?
  • Is the relationship between the boy and the girl a relationship that really happens between kids of this age?
  • Which character is in control in this commercial?
  • For adults: Where does this type of relationship usually get formed?

What We Think:

A little girl flirts with a little boy to get him to buy her a hot fudge sundae. It’s easy to think this ad is “cute,” but look a little closer. When the mom orders “two fudge brownie temptations,” the little girl looks at the boy flirtatiously with the word “temptation.” What (or who) is the real temptation here? We think it’s the little girl, who is made to seem like a sexual object. However, she also makes herself the sexual object, by knowing she’s attractive and that she can manipulate the boy to buy her the sundae. Notice that she says “It’s like shooting fish in a barrel,” (basically saying “this is so easy”) as if she’s in control of the situation. Dairy Queen is making two huge mistakes with this ad: First, this kind of objectification of little girls is one of the ways people in our culture start to think sexual violence toward young girls is acceptable. Second, it gives a wrong message to little girls — that all a girl has to do is be pretty to get things she wants from boys. Not cool.
— Jennifer Berger

Contact

American Dairy Queen Corporation Headquarters
7505 Metro Blvd.
Edina, MN 55439
Phone: (952) 830-0200
E-mail: Go to their web site to give ’em a piece of your mind.

Learn how to write a great complaint letter here.