The relaunch of the black-polo-neck-wearing badass who jumps out of windows, swims with sharks and hangs from helicopters, "and all because the lady loves Milk Tray", was teased with a new video, which shows one of the original Milk Tray men, James Coombes, reprising his old role.
"Now it's time for a new hero to deliver the famous box", Coombes states in the video. But what about a heroine?
A Milk Tray ad from the '80s features a man swimming through the ocean, braving a large and menacing shark, to deliver a box of Milk Tray to a yacht. After dropping his parcel, he readies himself for another encounter with the shark by biting down on his diving knife, then bravely sets off on his dangerous return journey.
Another Milk Tray ad from the '90s features a male helicopter pilot delivering Milk Tray to a woman who is busy stitching a white dress in a large country house. His helicopter is struck by lightning and begins to spiral out of control and crash, but not before he airdrops the box of Milk Tray on the woman's front verandah — because she was oh so helpless without it.
These ads reflect decades-old thinking — that men and women don't follow the same patriarchal rules when it comes to dating and romance, or much else for that matter.
These are outdated stereotypes which show a woman as a helpless damsel and the man as the hero. Or the man as the brave adventurer, while his female counterpart sits at home, looking pretty and awaiting his return. But women are just as likely to do the wooing these days, and if you disagree, you're probably a man (and not worth wooing).
The original ad first aired in 1968 (clearly a lot has changed in terms of women's rights since then), and now the search is on for Cadbury to find a new leading man, or lady. According to The Guardian, Cadbury spokesman Tony Bilsborough said, "The key point is the new Milk Tray man won't be chosen just for his derring-do, diving off cliffs into shark-infested waters. It will be as much about traits such as thoughtfulness. Leaping off a bridge on to a moving train is not as relevant as it was perhaps in the 1960s, there has to be a little more to gift giving".
On whether we could soon be seeing the first Milk Tray lady, he simply said: "We are not ruling anyone out".
Will we get an action hero that is less outdated and reflects the modern generation this time around? Or a badass lady in a black polo neck? Only time will tell. Applicants can register their interest at www.newmilktrayman.com.
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