Well, anyone, male or female can still buy it, but they have quite the in-your-face male targeted marketing campaign, all the way down to the wrappers. So what is prompting this post? While perusing the “international” aisle at my local Harris Teeter, I noticed a small section with candy bars from Britain. One bar in particular, “Yorkie” really caught my eye, so I snapped this picture of it:
Wow. That’s pretty blatant. To say right on your wrapper that your product is “Not For Girls”??? After seeing this, I was wondering how Nestle didn’t take some flack for it. I mean, I’m a comedian, marketing guy and food blogger, who finds things like this mildly amusing. But surely other people must think/have thought this is a pretty sexist marketing tactic, no? I mean we wouldn’t tolerate a candy bar that say’s “It’s Not for (insert ethnic group, minority group, political group, religion etc. here).”
Turns out this campaign has been around quite a while, launching in the spring of 2002. At the time it did catch some flack. When the campaign first launched, it used slogans in TV ads and on posters such as: “It’s not for girls”, “don’t feed the birds”, “not available in pink” and “King size, not Queen size.” Wow. The back of the wrapper even features the phrase “Do Not Feed the Birds” (In Britain, “bird” is a slang term for woman or girl). The wrapper was supplemented with TV ads in which the only way girls could buy a Yorkie bar was to try and dress up to pretend and be a guy:
Yorkie/Nestle, when they released the ads, talked about “reclaiming” chocolate bars for men, since so much of chocolate advertising is aimed at women. This Yorkie campaign attempts to make eating chocolate bars a thing that is ok for gruff, manly men to do again.
Well So Good readers, what do you think? A little harmless fun by Nestle? A deliberately controversial campaign that was made purely to draw attention and press? Blatentently sexist? A subtle appeal to women by trying to entice them into buying something they “shouldn’t” be trying to buy? Effective? Ineffective? Offensive? Fun?