Are You Offended By This Yogurt Commercial?

It’s a well known fact that yogurt is the official food of women. It’s sweet, it’s low-fat, and it helps us keep our ladybiz in order. Which is why it hurt so badly when the yogurt-ologists at Yoplait–normally known for their sensitive, non gender-essentializing marketing–betrayed us with what some are calling an ED-triggering ad.

In said ad, a woman stands anxiously in front of her office refrigerator. “Oooh cheesecake,” she says wistfully. “Maybe I’ll just have a small slice. I was good today, I deserve it.” Despite the fact that only little kids and dogs should have to “be good” in order to obtain treats (adults have the power to simply purchase them), I’d be willing to accept this if she had then helped herself to a reasonably sized piece of cheesecake. But instead, she continues to ruminate: “Or I could have a medium slice and some celery sticks, and they would cancel each other out, right? Or, ok…I could have one large slice and jog in place as I eat it.” And so on, and so forth.

Another woman then walks up and goes “mmm, raspberry cheesecake. I’ve been thinking about this all day.” But she doesn’t take a piece of the cheesecake, as logic would dictate. She takes a YOPLAIT YOGURT (because yogurt is totally as decadent as cheesecake, get it?) and the other woman “compliments” her by telling her she has lost weight. (For reasons why this is a dumb way to compliment someone, go here.)

This all made the National Eating Disorders Association quite unhappy, because it normalizes a kind of disordered behavior that has made many ED sufferers very, very miserable. It even goes so far as to make it look kind of “cute.” “[For those with eating disorders], opening a refrigerator is like walking off a bridge,” NEDA president Lynn Grefe told the Huffington Post. “And to see this behavior in a commercial tells people with eating disorders, see, it’s even on TV. It’s ok and normal for my head to go through all these mental exercises.”

Yoplait has since pulled the ad, saying they had no idea it contained such overt ED parallels. And why should they? As Jezebel notes, we are constantly bombarded with the idea that there are “good foods” and “bad foods,” and enjoying a “bad food” is inherently “sinful.” I think it reflects well on Yoplait that they pulled it, and maybe they’ll think harder about more responsible ways to advertise in the future. Then again, I’m sure some people will think they just caved into absurd P.C. pressure from the Fat Acceptance/Unapologetic Cake Eaters lobby. What do you think?

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    • Meghan

      Unapologetic cake eater, right here. Eating carrot cake right now. Not even for lunch. For a snack. Cuz I feel like it. Take that, Yoplait.

    • Katie

      YES! The first time I saw this commercial, I couldn’t believe its stupidity, pretty much for all the reasons above. Thank you for pulling it, Yoplait, I’m tired of getting worked up between rounds of “Criminal Minds!”

    • matbo

      Oh dear..I understood ED as erectile dysfunction…made the article very confusing there for a while..

    • Victoria

      I still don’t really get why the ad got pulled. But I’m terrible at empathizing, so maybe that’s my problem…personally I liked the commercial; it made me giggle.

    • Betsy

      As someone who has recovered from an eating disorder, I actually always found this commercial to be funny and memorable. Let’s be honest: many people probably think the same thoughts as the woman did in this commercial, especially those people to whom the ad is targeting. While the ad may be saying “cheesecake bad, yogurt good” it will help someone to remember Yoplait and maybe pick some up the next time they are at the store. And isn’t that what all ads are trying to achieve anyways?

    • AO

      I can’t imagine anything more ridiculous than pulling this innocuous ad. I’ve got news for the EDA–this kind of behavior IS normal. Silly, not particularly logical, but normal.

    • Jennifer
      • Venus in Furs

        That is rather vulgar.

    • Venus in Furs

      What disgusts me about the ad is the absurd suggestion that a cup of yogurt might satisfy someone who really wants cheesecake. While a yogurt might be delicious and tasty when I want yogurt, there is no way in hell–if I really want the cheesecake–that a yogurt will sate me.

      On the contrary, if I tried to fool myself with yogurt, this is what would happen: I would eat the yogurt. Then I’d come back for some fruit; then I’d probably drink a diet soda and eat another yogurt; then I’d eat numerous graham crackers slathered in strawberry jelly; then I’d nosh on something salty (almonds or maybe some chips); then, frustrated, I’d drive to the store for a pack of cigarettes; then I’d come home and smoke a couple cigarettes and probably make a liquor drink & eat some more random foods. Finally, after I’d consumed probably twice the calories of a slice of cheesecake & smoked half a pack of cigarettes (to get my mind off the cheesecake), THEN I would eat the cheesecake. Because when I want something specific, nothing else will do. That’s how it goes.

      Fortunately, I do not like cheesecake.

    • Kirsty

      It’s an ad for yoghurt, people. I struggle to get that pent up about dairy products to be honest.

    • Eve

      They didn’t pull the ad yet – I just saw it last night, on Ion I think.