Klondike rolled out a new ad campaign last week called “5 Seconds to Glory.” The premise: You must complete a five-second challenge in order to get your hands on a Klondike Bar (a square of chocolate-covered ice cream). Why you can’t just bypass the challenge and go straight to the bar itself is beyond me, but the real kicker here is the misogynistic, homophobic challenges Klondike presents.
A man must listen to his wife for FIVE WHOLE SECONDS before he is rewarded!
OMG two men have to HOLD HANDS for five seconds!
Now we can only assume that Klondike is targeting straight men with this campaign (I doubt many LGBTQ folks or straight women are digging these “challenges”) but even so, they are remarkably sexist and homophobic. To state the obvious, Klondike tells you the viewer (a white, straight man of course) that the acts of listening to your spouse and holding hands with another man are so difficult and distasteful that you should not have to do them for more than five seconds, and that you should be rewarded for your considerable efforts with an ice cream treat. Oh, and because that wasn’t enough to drive the sexist point home, once your time is up you’ll also be literally showered with confetti by scantily clad women. You know, because you worked so hard for five seconds doing the unthinkable. Poor baby!
Of course this particular brand of masculinity-at-all-costs sexism is nothing new in commercials, but I am especially bugged by this campaign because WTF does it have to do with ice cream bars!? The notion of this “5 seconds” challenge makes no sense to me (seriously, just eat the Klondike Bar), and homophobia and misogyny do not belong in the freezer next to delicious ice cream. What could be less gendered than ice cream? Its tastiness should be uniting us, not dividing us!
Something I did not previously realize but am now completely unsurprised to learn is that Klondike is owned by Unilever. You know, the parent company that also owns Axe Body Spray and Dove. I guess sexist commercials run in the family.