Is a drink really too wet without one? In a week when sugar has been hitting the headlines as being as toxic as tobacco for our health, it’s ironic that McVities have released the strategy behind their latest advertising campaign after allegedly spending twelve months studying the emotional role biscuits play in todays society.

I am not saying I have never eaten or enjoyed a hobnob, I certainly have, but if I had to rely on one to feel better it would be sad times indeed. This is a perfect example of how powerfully the media can and does influence our eating behaviours through suggestive advertising. The new campaigns focus on the alleged comfort sweet sugary foods give us. There’s even a cuddly animal associated with each product in the adverts to reinforce the comfort connection: Chocolate Digestives provide a ‘chocolatey snuggle‘, Digestives have a ‘crumbly cuddle‘, and Jaffa Cakes have a ‘zesty mischief’. Apparently the discovery that biscuits can act as a mood enhancer was an immensely powerful insight and is the thinking behind the new campaign. UBUK CEO Martin Glenn said “Our masterbrand campaign for McVitie’s is the result of 12 months of extensive customer research in which we aimed to get to the heart of the emotional role biscuits play in our lives”,

With this kind of targeted advertising it’s no surprise that emotional eating, and as a result obesity, is so prevalent. If you need to lose weight, it doesn’t help if you have been “programmed” to associate sugary fatty foods with feeling better, and are then told that you can’t have them anymore. That’s why it’s so difficult to stick to a “diet”, you are depriving yourself of pleasure; sooner or later your desire to feel good will be stronger than your desire not to eat the biscuit. Not having these sweet fatty foods wouldn’t be a problem if we didn’t have such strong associations with them providing emotional comfort. The reality is that if as a child you were taught through advertising that touching your toes made you feel better, and you saw your parents and friends smile as they touched their toes, then you would make an association between touching your toes and feeling good. If you believe something makes you feel good, it generally does. The problem is there’s not a lot of money to be made in simply touching your toes!

If you would like to stop powerful marketing campaigns from dictating your eating habits and reprogramme your own mind to change the way you think and feel about food, you can contact me directly janet@ or come along to Champneys for one of my 2 night or 4 night “easy slim” weight loss retreats or you can take yourself through the programme with my unique Think More Eat Less programme which is a book with audio hypnotic downloads.