Doritos' 'ketchup roses' advertisement assumes women don’t eat junk food

Feb 10, 2016 at 4:30 p.m. ET

When I first heard about Doritos Ketchup Roses — a beautiful bouquet of ketchup chips delicately arranged like rose petals on fake flower stems that the company promised to bring to your door on Valentine's Day — I could barely contain my excitement. I eagerly clicked through the Doritos Ketchup Roses site, hoping to somehow get my hands on one of these salty bouquets, which had sold out within hours.

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But then my desire to greedily devour a gorgeous bouquet of a dozen chip roses turned to hanger when I realized that Doritos was marketing these bouquets using a totally sexist '70s spoof of an ad that completely ignores the fact that women like to eat junk food too.

The video starts off by saying, "This Valentine's Day, boldly declare your love with something he loves: Doritos Ketchup Roses."

Doritos Roses
Image: YouTube

Doritos Roses
Image: YouTube

The only hint that women love Doritos too comes when some chip grease gets on a woman's boyfriend's face. She daintily takes her finger and swipes it off his cheek, then seductively licks the oily ketchup-flavoured powder off her finger as some text declares, "She loves these."

Doritos Roses
Image: YouTube

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And it actually gets more annoying. Doritos also has a couple of fake testimonials on the site from handsome men — one of whom is shirtless — saying things like, "Seriously girl, you made my dreams come true. It's just me, Doritos and you forever." Sure, I love pretty men, but I don't need them to entice me to buy Doritos! Can't you give me some credit for buying chips of my own volition? Because my lifetime relationship with junk food runs deep and has nothing to do with seeking validation from hairless male models.

Maybe you're thinking, "Isn't she being a little bit sensitive? It was just a joke, after all." But this joke is part of a broader problem in advertising — plus I'm sick of these junk food ads that focus on the tired "stoner guy" demographic, completely neglecting their female consumers. If you were to look at ads targeted at women, you'd think that we're only about eating tiny vials of yogurt masquerading as pie and cardboard-tasting diet chocolate bars that magically satisfy our cravings all day. Reality check: Women also crave actual junk food from time to time, just like men do.

Doritos majorly misses an advertising opportunity by failing to market these bouquets to women, while it reduces us to nothing more than sexy chip servants patiently hoping some grease will collect on our men's faces so we can lick it off.

Come on, Doritos, it's 2016, and as a woman who's been loyally buying your chips ever since I could pinch together enough quarters from my allowance as a little girl, I'm disappointed.


What do you think of the Doritos Ketchup Roses ad? Tell us in the comments section below.

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