Racism in Chocolate Advertisement

Introduction

Chocolate, a wonderful sweet that would always comfort us, however, could cause social issues at the same time due to the nature of its color. Many chocolate advertisements have been accused for racism, gender inequality, child labor, and slavery. It is critical to draw clear boundaries while trying to be innovative. Racism is one of the most common social issues found in chocolate commercials. This essay will compare two advertisements for the same product.

Cadbury – Dairy Milk Bliss

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“Move over Naomi, there’s a new diva in town”. This is a caption appeared on the advertisement for Dairy Milk Bliss chocolate bar which caused a series of discussion in 2011. Naomi Campbell, an English supermodel felt offended by this advertisement and she said “It’s upsetting to be described as chocolate, not just for me but for all black women and black people. I do not find any humor in this. It is insulting and hurtful.” Many believe that the company did not mean to insult Naomi, instead they were referring to her diva-style (Reed Business Information, 2011) but her skin color. Another key controversy is the use of color purple. Purple is often used to represent wealth and high social standard. Not only the background of this image is purple, the packaging of the chocolate product itself used purple as well. Along with the use of diamond image on the bottom also delivered a sense of elegance. From this prospective, we could see the use of her name is referring to her reputation. However, for those who believe it is racist, the color purple sometimes can be related to black people., moreover with the history of cacao production during 18th century when large African slavery were imported into the harvesting process, the natural color of either cacao or its final product chocolate are often related by some people. Due to cacao’s unique growing condition, until nowadays, cacao production is dependent on Africa American descent people because the majority of those areas were dominant by Africa American people.

Revised Advertisement – Dairy Milk Bliss

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The revised version of the advertisement kept the main features of the original poster. On top of the picture appears a line of caption saying “Have a bite of Bliss”, and the purpose of it create a relaxing and persuasive emotion. In the middle left is a lady silhouette which her gesture should deliver a sense of high social status, in other word a sense of diva. The reason for using a silhouette instead of celebrities or any actual human figure is to avoid any inaccurate choices that would potentially being accused for racism, sexism, gender inequality or other issues. On the right is pictures of the product which should be eye-catching. They also present the three flavors available for the product. In addition, the colors on the packaging of the products should also aid to attract attention. On the bottom, it kept partial of the original caption and made some changes to “Be the new diva in town” in order to reflect the high quality.

Conclusion

It is possible for us to sometimes read too much out of the information provided. However, since there are solid historical events and contemporary occurring issues exist or had existed, it is critical to keep them in mind when creating advertisement.

Sources

Cadbury’s Dairy Milk Bliss. Advertisement. The Guardian . N.p., 3 June 2011. Web. 10 Apr. 2015. <http://www.theguardian.com/media/2011/jun/03/cadbury-naomi-campbell-ad&gt;.

“Naomi Campbell’s outrage as ‘racist advert likens her to a chocolate bar’.” The Tennessee Tribune 13 July 2011 [Nashville, Tenn.] : 6A. Web. 10 Apr. 2015. <http://search.proquest.com/docview/876103072?accountid=14214&gt;.

“Cadbury’s Campbell chocolate ad not racist, says UK advertising watchdog.” Reed Business Information June 2011. Web. 10 Apr. 2015. <http://search.proquest.com/docview/929145580?accountid=14214&gt;.

http://alwaysimages.com/i/woman-silhouette/45

http://www.binbin.net/compare/Dairy-Milk-Bliss-Trio.htm

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