Sexual Euphemism Now in Convenient Chocolate Form: the Fling candy bar by Mars

NPR reported on a new candy bar from Mars–its first in 20 years–called the Fling. Wrapped in a shimmery pink and silver package, it’s not just its low calorie count that is catering to women.

The campaign behind it has taken an unsubtle approach to marketing the candy bar as more of a marital aid than an item from a vending machine. While “finger” may be an industry term for a thin and slender, it takes on a whole different meaning with the catchphrase “Pleasure Yourself” (Also gross and awkward: “Serving Size: 1 Finger”). Other taglines like “Naughty, but not that naughty,” “Have a FLING™ in private, or wave it all around town; in the office, the bedroom, or the great outdoors,” make no ambiguous implications that the Fling satisfies better than a Snickers.

If you need more proof of its creepy campaign, look no further than the Fling’s official FAQ (sorry, “the Skinny”) on its website (and don’t worry, it’s okay to be under 18 to visit it).

How are fabulous FLING™ Chocolate Fingers so miraculously made?

FLING™ is lovingly made using a meringue base (that’s the crispy layer). This is made of whipped egg whites and sugar and baked in an oven. A chocolate truffle is layered onto the bar. Then the bars are enrobed and decorated in pure chocolate. Then, using a patented system, the bars have shimmer applied to them. This gives each FLING™ its unique, sleek and shiny look.

How awesome is your application of alliteration? Not nearly nuanced as your marketing should be. While it’s fun to think it’s made “lovingly” and “enrobed” in chocolate, there’s just no sexy way to say “baked in an oven.”

What makes it shimmer?

Fairy dust. Just kidding. The shimmer is actually a FDA approved mineral called Mica, that shimmers and is used occasionally by specialty chocolatiers to add a unique and attractive sparkle to gourmet chocolate.

Yeah, you read that right. THE CHOCOLATE ITSELF ACTUALLY SPARKLES. The last time I heard about mica was in Intro to Geology, and the last place I wanted to hear about it was in the ingredients for a trumped-up Twix bar. Can this product get any weirder?

Do the different flavors have different colored shimmer?

Yes. You are not seeing things. The Milk Chocolate flavor has a pink shimmer, the Dark Chocolate has a gold shimmer, and the Hazelnut has an orange shimmer. We like variety.

….er, yes.

How should I properly care for my FLING™?

Like the women who crave it, FLING needs to be handled with care — try not to ruffle our delicate truffles and keep them in a cool, dry place. Between 65-75 degrees is ideal. Then you can pleasure yourself with this chocolate sensation time and time again.

Wait…what?! Pleasure myself time and time again with well-tempered chocolate? I’m not sure that even makes sense. Lord knows there are a lot of metaphors flying around this campaign but let’s do our best to keep them straight.

Why is FLING™ only available in CA?

We are premiering FLING™ in California retail stores in 2009 before it becomes a blockbuster! If you live outside CA and want FLING™, you can buy online.

If it’s anything like other pleasuring devices, I will not be seeing it anytime soon in AL, GA, KS, LA, MS, TX or VA.

The NPR stream is definitely worth a listen. Lisa Johnson, author of Don’t Think Pink: What Really Makes Women Buy says that the campaign is taking a too “literal interpretation” of “ ‘Our chocolate should be sexual’ instead of coming from [the buyer’s] peripheral vision and making her laugh, inspiring her around music…There’s other things you can do that can hit this note without banging on it.” Johnson also touches on how oftentimes marketing towards women is more than a targeted ad. “Marketing to women within most traditional companies is one of the scariest departments to be in because it’s so filled with politics. You think you’re talking about women consumers, but you end up talking about women in leadership in the company; you end up talking about people’s spouses, their daughters, their wives, all the male and female dynamics. There’s a lot of fear.”

Sarah Haskins, you had it right all along.

by Kjerstin Johnson
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Kjerstin Johnson is a writer and editor in Portland, Oregon. She is the former editor in chief of Bitch. She tweets at @kajerstin

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4 Comments Have Been Posted


It's almost like the marketing department has been spying on me! I swear, every time I go into a fitting room, I check my hot self out in the mirror and then whip out a naughty (but not that naughty) Mica-laced low-cal chocolate bar. Er, I mean finger.


fyi: mica tastes delicious. try it in muscovite or biotite forms (though be wary of this pink mica, not actually a mineral). at long last my geologic background attains relevance

A friend and I have a running bet ...

... that Sarah Haskins will follow-up that Target Women: Chocolate about this soon. I heard the NPR report on this yesterday and thought, WTF? I see that they are just dressed-up, reduced size and calorie Twix bars, if you ask me. Really new and different ... yeah, right.

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