For as long as time, there has been a divide between men and women. I am really interested to look at the differences between the two from a branding and advertising perspective. I have always been a bit of a tom boy and unlike the “stereotypical girl”playing with barbies and dolls, growing up with an older brother will do that to you. However, I do remember being a child and being shocked I wasn’t allowed to eat the same chocolate as him. I am of course referring to ‘Nestles’ ‘ITS NOT FOR GIRLS’ very shouty strapline on the Yorkie bar. Looking at the advertising with no context, it seems sexist and androgynous. Apparently it is not meant to be offensive, “Yorkie was launched in 1976 to take on female-targeted brands such as Cadbury’s Dairy Milk and provides a chunkier alternative to the slimmed-down Dairy Milk bars.”
After not surprisingly receiving negative feedback for the brand, Nestle decided to push the controversial brand further instead of backing down, adding new slogans ‘It’s not for girls’, ‘don’t feed the birds’, ‘not available in pink’ and ‘King size, not Queen size.’ These were used on bill boards and advertisements while their new television adverts showed women attempting to purchase the chunky chocolate bar by glueing on fake beards and dressing like a man. This new compaign was designed to add an element of humour into the brand and prove they weren’t sexist.
In 2006 a limited edition (for two months) Pink Yorkie “For girls” was released. “The launch was designed to salute those ‘sacred’ girls who, against their female instinct, can be ‘blooey’ enough to indulge in the UK’s chunkiest and manliest chocolate bar.” Despite the packaging still reading ‘Masculine chunks of milk chocolate’ and the ‘O’ still brandishing the ‘no girls’ symbol . All I will say is that in 2011, Nestle issued yet a noter rebrand of the product and amongst the changes the ‘ITS NOT FOR GIRLS’ strap line was dropped and remains that way to this day.
Though ‘Nestle’ seems to have changed its ways, it does leave me to wonder if we will, as a society, ever fully be rid of this negative view that “men are better than women.” When I was researching into Nestle to write this piece, I came across this image which I think shows one of the fundamental things that is wrong with our world. We no longer live in a world where women are the only gender who feel ‘body conscious.’ I can tell you as a woman, you will never find me in a restaurant ordering a salad. I have often been across the table from a man where the waitress bringing the drinks over has put the pint of lager in front of him and the gin and tonic in front of me when it is the other way around.