Is the Dove China advert sexist?

Sexist advertising?

The question is only raised because – like so very many other TV adverts in China – they seem to presume that women:

– have their affection and attention very easily bought and paid for

– act haughty and slutty – with a strong flavour of just being plain dumb – in order to get what they want

– are morons

– all have the same identical (white) skin colour and the same identical (large) eye size

Check the above advert on Youku. The key part is on 35 seconds, where the girl gives a cretinous look and says ‘wo de na?’ – to which the boy, clearly as horny as a march hare – runs off to buy her more inexpensive chocolate. Presumably afterwhich – and only afterwhich – she will then satiate his cravings?

What Dove do seem to have done well – in reality, in the world of selling chocolate is:

– have an excellent relationship with sellers (your Family Marts etc.) and have their product in prime place

– be the only real company selling inexpensive chocolate in China

– improve the quality of their product (or at least the taste of it) in the last several years.

It used to be much worse years ago. That is not a case of ‘getting used to it’ as time goes on, but it has actually improved into a very decent eating chocolate (and you can even cook with the dark variety).

However: the advertising simply shows a weak reliance on the simplistic yet commonplace notion that women still like being depicted as complete retards who base most of, or all of, their entire lives around ‘men buying them things’. And to get those things, they simply have to be overly dramatic and calculating / fake in order to express their wishes or have their will triumphed.

You may say this is a rather over-dramatic reading or conclusion of a TV advert for chocolate. But it is not.

The society here still takes it’s lead from ‘the media’ or TV, yet there is a balance. There will come a time when the women realise that they are being patronised – just as happened (or rather is still happening) with TV advertising in Western countries. So the question is, when will the Chinese advertising industry respond to that?

dumb girl face dumb man face dumb people face dumb run

See also:

Desperately Cute

How to make an advert for anything in China

Categories: Play


Foreigner in Shanghai


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