"There are lots of things to feel guilty about. Think Thin isn't one of them. 20 grams of protein. Zero sugar. Zero guilt."
This is one of my favorite food ads these days. Can't say as much for the product.
Protein is in and sugar is out. So the Think Thin protein bars are designed to appeal to both concerns.
The bars achieve 0g of sugar through sugar alcohols. Think Atkins from 8-10 years ago.
Turning a stereotype around usually leads to a well-done ad. Instead of women being the ones treated as an object of desire, the roles are reversed and the women are ogling the young man.
In the film "Spinal Tap," the band members talk about the fine line between stupid and clever. This ad was clever.
Using guilt in marketing to women is as old as marketing. The ad tells you to feel guilty about some things (like ogling a friend of your son), but not the protein bars they are selling.
We aren't fans of guilt in general, especially when it comes to food marketing. 20g of protein is an easy choice, depending on the source of protein. 0g of sugar is touted as an easy, good, and most importantly, guilt-free choice. What could rid you of guilt quicker than 0g of sugar?
If you handled the Atkins bars with little trouble, then you'll likely be fine with these bars. However, many people can't handle sugar alcohols, then and now.
The idea that "0g sugar" removes all guilt assumes we turn off our brains when it comes to what we put in our bodies. Anything that says 0g sugar as a marketing tool always has proverbial fine print involved.
When the low-fat craze hit, "0g fat" became a siren of a "good" food, regardless of the fact that sugar (likely high-fructose corn syrup) was a frequent substitute and we need fat in our diet.
The siren of "0g sugar" doesn't mean it's a good food. The siren should really be to read the fine print.
If something is too good to be true, then it isn't true. Besides, we need fruit sugar (ideally from fruit) and milk sugar (for those who consume milk products). And a bit of sugar from good sources adds fun and flavor to our food-eating lives.
Whether you use honey or maple syrup or Stevia or agave or another sweetener, use it in moderation and you'll likely be just fine. Too much sugar, especially in the form of high-fructose corn syrup, is doing great harm to our diets. But we don't need to go to 0g sugar in our diet.
Cutting out sugar 100% isn't practical. Cutting out guilt 100% isn't practical. You could feel guilty about some things, but having a bit of well-sourced sugar isn't one of them.