Among Women, Fling's Fingers Make a Limp Tease
After 20 years of riding its existing array of brands, Mars introduces a new candy bar: the Fling, a skinny, "shimmering" (wait, what?) 85-calorie chocolate "finger" whose packaging is hot pink and whose creative invites you to "pleasure yourself."
Just not beyond a PG-13 rating. We just watched the first-ever ad, the first 15 seconds of which gave us that embarrassed schoolgirl flush: two pairs of legs in a dressing room, making motions and noises as if they're doing The Do.
The camera pans over the tops of the rooms, revealing the frisky couple is not a couple at all. The man is in a separate room, grunting as he struggles with clothing that's two sizes too small; and the woman, who's finished shimmying into a tiny dress, moans with quiet glee as she collapses into a seat and pleasures herself with one of Fling's, uh, fingers.
In the event you aren't feeling cheap enough, the tagline drives it home: "It's naughty, but not that naughty."
The preadolescent cocktease of a product left at least one woman, Lisa Johnson, with a creepy feeling. "The overall campaign feels weird," co-author of Don't Think Pink: What Really Makes Women Buy -- and How to Increase Your Share of This Crucial Market told NPR. She described the campaign as a "full-frontal attack," loaded with the "sexual innuendo" you'd find in "a trashy novel."
Marketers behind the campaign take the connection women draw between chocolate and sensuality too literally, she adds. "There are other things you can do that can hit this note without banging on it."
This would be a good time to riff off "banging" with the less-than-tactful inclusion of "finger," but you can probably do that without our help. For the record, confections that invite associations to masturbating aren't exactly items we're eager to put in our mouths.
Props to reader Martha for passing this campaign along to us.