Posted by: marthakarnes | March 27, 2014

You’re Not You When You’re Hungry

As soon as I saw this ad yesterday, I knew I had to post it here and see what everyone thought. The ad comes from Snickers Australia and features some Australian construction workers shouting supportive, rather than sexist, things at women. At first glance, I thought it was a really cool way for Snickers to break down gender barriers. On second glance, it doesn’t really seem so. Snickers is famous for their “you’re not you when you’re hungry” slogan. The ad starts off “What happens when builders aren’t themselves?” and after the construction workers have shouted things in support of gender equality, it ends with “You’re not you when you’re hungry.” So, apparently the construction workers aren’t themselves when they’re shouting “what do we want? equality!” and when they are themselves, they’ll go back to yelling sexist things and harassing women? To me, the message is confusing. I don’t know whether it’s trying to say that sexism is wrong or that it’s okay/natural.

I know we’ve talked about media on the blog before and that we talked about it in class a bit, but I think it’s an important subject and deserves to be talked about. In this day and age, media, whether it be television or internet or whatever, is one of the most important factors in young people’s lives. That is at least true for me and many others that are my age. Another thing I think it important to mention is the influence of media on those younger than us. When I think about my mentors and heroes, most of them are women that I knew or grew up with. I idolized my grandma and mother. Today, with technology becoming so prevalent, I don’t think the same would be true. The young girls today are growing up with Facebook and twitter accounts; they are being exposed to media and pop culture and younger ages than some of us were. I think for that reason, it’s important that girls are getting to see ads that empower and encourage women, not use them as a joke.

Whatever the intent of this ad was, it does start a conversation, and maybe the point of it was to stir up tension (and also to sell Snickers, obviously). I’m really curious to see everyone’s thoughts on this ad. What do you guys think the message is? Do you think it was meant to be seen as sexist or not? And what are you opinions on the new digital age? Who were some of your heroes growing up, and if you know any young girls now, are their heroes different from yours?


  1. I also find this ad confusing, but it seems that they feel men acting “normal” means men hitting on women, whether or not this is meant to be degrading, I’m not sure. I personally have agreed with Dr. Shollen the few times she has said that men (or people in general) are attempting to remove power from women when they focus on their appearance. Whether or not it is meant in a offensive way is another matter all together. Another issue this ad brings up is, like you said, how the media influences the younger generation of girls. The more the idea of men focusing only on women’s sexuality is instilled in society and in the minds of young girls, the more they will see this as the norm. It concerns me, personally, that the younger generation of girls will see their sexuality as their only way to be influential or to gain success, and sell themselves short.

  2. The purpose of this ad confuses me too. I agree with Bethany that it seems to convey that men acting normal is when they hit on women. It almost seems to advocate for the “norm” of men objectifying women. I also agree that valuing women for their appearance alone takes their power away. This made me curious to look at the other “You’re not you when you’re hungry” commercials. It seems that the person who is hungry is always an older woman. They refer to the hungry person as a “diva” or “drama queen”, but I believe this perpetuates the “bitch” stereotype of women. These three Snickers ads demonstrate that. (They’re from three different countries.)

  3. I find that this ad only makes gender bias even more prominent. From my personal perspective, I saw this ad as saying that men empowering women and not objectifying them is not normal – so does that mean whistling at women as they walk by and objectifying them is normal? I think that this ad does more harm than good, because it is showing both men and women what we all perceive to be “normal.” While watching the video a few times, I could see that the women often looked uncomfortable as the men shouted out to get their attention, because I’m sure the women were expecting remarks such as “how you doin’ sexy” or “damn look at that bod” – let’s be honest here, that’s what we all thought! However, I think that if this ad was filmed in a different manner – perhaps the men were catcalling the women and being “not themselves” and then ate the snickers and proceeded to fight for equality – it would be taken much better by women. However, we all know that this is just unrealistic…

  4. I find this Snickers ad campaign to be annoying. If I remember correctly, they had an ad in a recent Superbowl that also relied on gender stereotypes. A man accidentally kissed another man so they then did “manly acts” to prove that they were not homosexual. There was a lot of criticism for this portrayal of men. It seems that after making poor decisions in the past, Snickers would try to improve their ad campaign to receive less criticism… I guess not. This ad attempts to be funny- and to some it is- but it is just confirming people’s misperceptions on feminism, which I think is inappropriate. I would hope that Snickers would take a more mature approach to advertisements in the future because media matters.

  5. Regardless of whether or not Snickers was trying to be gender bias with this particular ad, the reality is that the majority of their other ads do cast females in a negative light. All of these commercials I have seen are always about an actual male being depicted as a stuck up female, which is why to me, it seemed like the commercial was saying that it’s not necessarily normal for many men to treat women cordially and as equals. The fact that so many people find these ads funny just goes to show how little our society may actually take gender equality into consideration. I just feel that we have become so accustomed to the stereotypes that exist between men and women that many people no longer even see that there is an underlying issue. Although I’m definitely not a fan of these ads, I’m also not really sure if we can point complete blame at the Snickers company. After all, they wouldn’t even be making these ads if the media and society’s negative depictions of women didn’t exist in the first place. It really reflects society’s views as a whole, not just Snickers individually.

  6. I think that snickers probably thought they were doing a really great thing by putting out this ad, but I don’t think they thought about how it could send off a more complicated or confusing message than it meant to. I agree with the points that were stated above about how stereotypes between men and women are so engraved into our culture that we sometimes don’t even realize that we are doing it. I honestly don’t think Snickers thought that in depth about what they were doing, and they probably never thought they would have their ad analyzed by a Women and Leadership class. I don’t even know if other people would pick up on these types of things if they just saw it in passing. However, that is the issue. People need to start recognizing these stereotypes and being more conscious of them because that is how we are going to stop the problem of gender inequality. If no one sees the problem or can identify how we are doing the problem in our daily lives, nothing is ever going to get done.

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s


%d bloggers like this: