Chobani is the latest company to make waves with a queer-themed advertisement, following after controversies like the rainbow-Oreo ad or the pictures of happy same-sex couples in the JC Penney catalog.
The ad in question shows two hot women in bed, one of them eating yogurt and one sleeping. I admit, I didn’t know what to make of it at first glimpse… I thought maybe it was a woman and her daughter, or friends at a sleepover. After all, it’s not uncommon for yogurt commercials to imply that cup of dairy will be a woman’s moment of sensual bliss during her harried workaday life. But nope, this sensuality in particular belongs to a lesbian couple that clearly enjoys Chobani Simply 100.
Yay! We can always use more representation in advertising. Right?
Well… maybe. It plays to “sexy lesbian” stereotypes for sure, but basically all commercials play to tropes. The answer is to address the stereotypes themselves, not to lambaste one particular commercial that is at least a step in the right direction.
More significantly, does the commercial work? Do you wanna try some Chobani yogurt, either because it seems sexy now or because they’ve expressed support? It is nice to feel welcomed by a company or product. I like buying Oreos. I like going to Starbucks. On the flip side, I do NOT like going to a certain chicken restaurant that I don’t even want to name. That’s all marketing, appealing to your target audience, and it totally works.
There are deeper concerns about whether or not a company follows through on its support, whether it has benefits for same-sex spouses and anti-discrimination policies or just wants to get attention with a controversial advertisement. Who has time to check that out for every single company in the world? Of course people will make judgments based on a company’s ads, for better or worse.
I like yogurt, I like queer rights… I tried the yogurt, and honestly it tasted terrible. It’s supposed to be Greek yogurt, but it’s runny. The whole reason I like Greek yogurt is that it’s NOT runny. I’ll stick with the Oats from now on and avoid the 100. But still… An ad like this makes me more likely to try something. What about you? Is it attractive, or is it just pandering?