Emma Cowing: Cadbury’s message is less than sweet
WHEN I spent some time embedded with the British Army a few years ago, I was fortunate – if that is the right adjective – to sample the legendary 24-hour ration packs handed out to soldiers on the front line.
The contents have to be seen to be believed. There is something named Biscuits Brown, every bit as delicious as they sound, and Biscuits Fruit, which look as though they may, at some point in the previous six months, have had a brief encounter with a handful of mouldy raisins.
The highlight however, was undoubtedly the Yorkie bar. On its packet, especially designed for the army, were the words NOT FOR CIVVIES. You may remember that Yorkies were once deemed verboten for girls in a spectacularly misguided marketing campaign, but on the front-line in Afghanistan, making a chocolate bar an exclusive item seemed a rather clever idea. Being a civvy myself I offered mine to a soldier and made do with my Biscuits Brown. What a pity then, that I did not have a Crispello handy.
Ah yes, the Crispello. If you haven’t heard about it, don’t worry, you soon will. The Crispello is the first chocolate bar to be designed exclusively for women. Made by Cadbury’s, it will also be the first new chocolate bar launched by the company in almost 20 years and will be inflicted upon the populous by means of a whopping great £7 million marketing campaign. It’s a lot of money to spend on something that sounds like a range of training bras. But I must say, I’m relieved we women are finally being catered for in the chocolate department. Lifting up a Twix always was a tad strenuous on my delicate wrists.
Apparently, Cadbury thinks the bar will appeal to women who are worried about putting on weight. It has just 165 calories, compared with the 260 you’d find in a manly Mars bar.
The Crispello also comes in a resealable pack, so that you can have just one piece at a time because, obviously, being flighty women, we would have no willpower to do this ourselves. Perhaps most enticingly, the bar – which resembles three Ferrero chocolates – will be sold under the slogan “a little treat for you”, so that, get this, women can eat it without feeling guilty. Give me strength. In fact, give me a Mars bar. Are we really still living in a world where food is to be targeted according to gender? What’s next? Bacon for women (with all the fat cut off)? Or what about chocolate digestives for ladies (all chocolate removed and portioned into quarters)?
Cadbury has apparently launched the Crispello as a firefighting move because women have decided – all by themselves – to eat less chocolate. Industry research shows that annual sales of single chocolate bars have fallen by 6.6 per cent – quite a lot for a market worth about £800m a year. Evidence suggests that this slump is almost entirely caused by women buying less chocolate. And heaven forfend that women show a little initiative by choosing not to gorge themselves on chocolate. Instead, let’s get them munching away on endless “little treats” – like Crispellos!
Perhaps the most offensive thing about the Crispello is the suggestion that women will be able to eat one without feeling guilty. This suggests that eating any other type of chocolate bar will, therefore, induce terrible feelings of guilt and remorse. The sort of remorse that encourages young and impressionable women to stick their fingers down their throat in order to feel better.
Marketing something that’s low calorie and low fat specifically at women is a dangerous game. It’s one that tells women that they shouldn’t be indulging – that they must always be watching their weight and that they are not equal to men in such matters. Men can gorge on as many Mars bars as they like, but women must nibble on their Crispellos between manicures. Neither message is a healthy one.
One of the reasons why the Yorkie “not for girls” campaign ultimately failed was because not only was it offensive, patronising and out of date, but it also took the rather dim-witted stance of ruling out half the population as potential purchasers. The Crispello has done something similar, as well as managing to alienate every bright woman who would actually prefer a Twix, thanks. So, I’ve got a new marketing slogan. The Crispello: not for women who can think for themselves.
Search for a job
Search for a car
Search for a house
Weather for Edinburgh
Tuesday 21 May 2013
Temperature: 7 C to 17 C
Wind Speed: 13 mph
Wind direction: North west
Temperature: 3 C to 12 C
Wind Speed: 23 mph
Wind direction: West