Late last month Snickers Australia caused quite a stir when they released this advertisement
Seemingly playful and light-hearted in nature the content of the advertisement caused an almighty debate over many platforms. Many thought the advertisement was an effective tool that through satire illustrated an unfortunate social norm and highlighted it in a humorous way. Others were outraged and found it littered in misogyny and a deep grounding in traditional gender roles.
But what is the ad really trying to say?
To fully understand the meaning that snickers is trying to put into the advertisement we must look at both the denotation and connotation of the advertisement.
The literal definition of what the construction “workers” are saying and doing during the advertisement is actually a very astute opinion. The men call for the end of gender bias towards women. Particularly they touch on points about female appearance stereotypes, respect for women, the “women’s place” bias and an end to the objectification of women. Although at the start this is premised with “what happens when builders aren’t themselves” which when looking purely on the surface of it means they this isn’t normal behaviour for them and possibly that on any other given day they may say nothing at all.
and then, it hits.
As the advertisement reaches its summation we find the connotative over tone. “You’re not you when your hungry”. In that instance all notion of gender neutrality is lifted. It’s the overt slap in the face, seemingly to both sexes, about how we should behave in this social situation. That if they had eaten a snickers and not been hungry these workers would’ve been chauvinist cat calling blokes. Unintentional or not it pokes fun at the very idea that women deserve respect at all.
The layered meaning in the advertisement gave it the desired response, almost a month later and people are still talking about it. Lucky for us some are doing it better than others.