Chocolate advertisements: they’re pretty effective at making us salivate, with images of creamy, liquid chocolate and rich nuggets tempting us to make a purchase. A recently released study published in Appetite reveals a marketing technique that causes consumers to be even more apt to act and buy a bar: advertisements that feature thin models chowing down on chocolate.
The study indicated that women who normally showed eating restraint – like those who watched their weight or were on a diet – were more likely to want to consume chocolate when confronted with the image of a thin model doing so. Researchers predict that these young women identified with the models, categorizing themselves as having the same body type and therefore allowed to partake in “‘a temporary relaxation of eating restrictions’” (Source).
In the images the women were exposed to, written messages were displayed in conjunction with the thin models that contained either positive or negative information about eating chocolate. The same was done with overweight models. The thin models overwhelmingly provoked the motive to indulge, and those women who normally showed eating restraint consumed the most chocolate when presented with chocolate after exposure to the thin models.
What provokes this phenomenom? According to researchers, restrained eaters are prone to the thin fantasy upon viewing women with the “ideal” body type. When confronted with the images, the restrained eaters not only longed to be thinner, but simultaneously perceived themselves to be thinner. The feeling of being comparable with the thin models reduces the pressure to maintain strict restraint with the consumption of food like chocolate.
Don’t worry – at Wockenfuss we won’t try to trick you into eating chocolate by bombarding you with images of thin models – it’s so good you won’t need to be swayed to try some.
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Thin models in ads tempt consumers to overindulge, studies find