— Karen Brennan, Attorney
Mars recently introduced a new candy bar, Fling, marketed exclusively to women, advertised as “an un-regrettably indulgent new product for women”. The website is predominantly pink and is littered with very stereo-typical one-liners meant to be sexy such as “you never know when you’ll want to have a Fling” and “so tear it open and sneak in a quickie.” The packaging is shiny pink and silver with the tag-line “Naughty, but not that naughty.”
The marketing campaign is nothing more than a concoction of cliches directed toward women simply because it is a low calorie candy bar, touted as under 85 calories per stick. Interestingly, since there are two sticks in a package, Fling has about the same number of calories as other, gender neutral, candy bars such as Nestle’s Chunky Bar (190 calories; I don’t believe Nestle was thinking about marketing directly to women when it named this candy bar), Nestle’s 100 Grand Bar (190 calories), or Mar’s Milky Way (approximately 220 calories).
I can’t decide whether this marketing campaign is smart or insulting. While the company claims it is for women, the target audience is obviously younger women (late teens – 20’s) who may not be as insulted as slightly older women (lets say 30’s). In researching this blog, I did find numerous comments from women who were insulted, such as www.wonderbranding.com, (Fling blog) and Creative Skirts. Mars is marketing this new product as a guiltless fling. However, like any other fling, you don’t realize how bad it is for you until its too late.