Posted by: Ophelia | May 19, 2009

Dieting double talk

Whenever companies come up with diet products they tend to be targeted firmly at women. Usually they’ll redo an existing product stick in artificial sweetneers, make it smaller, and maybe slap some pink on the package and call it things like decadent, or no guilt (because women should feel guilty for eating). But when these companies try to advertise low calorie foods to men, they must explicitly state that they’re for men–not like those frilly girly diet foods.

See: Fling. The Twix for dieters.

Not onlyfling is it 85 calories, the chocolate also sparkles.

Wrapped in a shiny pink and sliver package, this delicate “chocolate finger” is intended for women. The word “finger” is an industry term for a long, slim confection, Mars spokesman Ryan Bowling says, but with ads that invite you to “Pleasure yourself” in pink lettering, consumers might come to other conclusions.

The tag line on the package is “Naughty, but not that naughty.” A TV spot starts with what looks like strangers having sex in a store dressing room. Currently the candy bar can be bought only California and online, but if all goes well, Mars is hoping women will be having Flings all across the country.

Perhaps it’s named fling as a reminder of the relationship women are supposed to have with food–fleeting and guilt ridden? Or perhaps it’s only a fling since it doesn’t add unsightly pounds and inches? What’s the deal with the sexual innuendo?

See also: Pepsi Max the first diet cola for men

In this case they went for the tried and true method of sticking a bunch of “manly” images into the commercials to make it more attractive  to men–as usually seen by commercials for burgers with bacon on it. So we reaffirm that diet foods are for girls, but not this diet food because it has extra caffeine…mmm manly.



  1. Haha! I saw those Pepsi Max posters just a few weeks ago a block away from where I was eating… at Pinkberry. I make no apologies for the manliness I showed while balancing on a bright, curvy-chic plastic chair eating swirly frozen yogurt and rice balls. But yes, I did laugh out loud when I saw it, because in spite of its silliness, I was still sure it would sell.

    Even though it’s good ol’ Diet Pepsi with a new label and nothing more, the irony is that there will be a large chunk of consumers who’ll buy it, at least at first, nonetheless — because, you know, the new label is so… sleek.

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