Monday, 20 February 2017

Advertising Chocolate: Configuring Desire

Dr. Brian Mendonca delivering his presentation.

Advertising Chocolate: Configuring Desire

Chocolate is all things to all people. But making them desirable is the business of advertisements. From cookies to condoms all are flavoured with chocolate. The ingenuity of the ad makers to get the message across has to be seen to b believed. From the staid Amitabh uncle image coaxing his wards to make the occasion special with 'Kuch Meetha Ho Jaye', Hindi being the operative register for Cadbury, to the blatantly sexual Oreo ad, 'Black outside, white inside,' ads can be loved or hated but never ignored. A glimpse of famous international brands and their ads like Vero, Ferrero Rocher, Frederici, Gioconda and Haagen Dasz enables us to see how they are conceived to captivate the audience. The target segment could be nubile teenagers, women, children, or old men. The goal is the same - to sell the chocolate. Some ads are mystifying others complex, but all arresting to the eye and beholder. All of them appeal to our basic instincts and desires. Unmediated by the superego they appeal to the senses first, the ego later. Id is the game player here. As Vero's ad for dark chocolate implores, 'Do not deny your dark side.' The feminization of chocolate in recent times is a far cry from the time chocolate used to be standard ration for soldiers for their instant, high energy content. Mona Lisa in a Bob Marley hairdo is just one of the attempts to subvert high art and Western iconography. Foot fetish is what Mars relies on advocating that when it comes to foreplay by a man sucking a Mars is better than sucking a woman's toe.

College colloquium titled, 'Say it with Chocolate' held at Carmel College of Arts, Science and Commerce for Women, Nuvem, Goa on 18 February 2017

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