“This boggles the mind from a grammatical standpoint.”
These were the words of a recent tweet by Twitter user Parker Poling, who saw an inscrutable Hershey’s chocolate bar display and shared it with the equally confused masses on Sunday. The post currently has over 315,000 likes and 31,000 retweets, which is either Hershey’s ultimate dream or greatest nightmare. Look at the endcap and decide for yourself.
The chocolate bars highlight the “she” in Hershey’s, and a sign on the box instructs customers to scan a QR code “to learn more & find out how you can celebrate SHE.” Celebrate SHE?
“You had the object pronoun sitting.right.there,” Poling’s tweet reads, in what sounds like a begging tone.
The post no doubt struck a chord with the Twitterverse because it’s the perfect example of corporate groupthink: an overcooked idea that came from a team of creatives forced to stare at a brown-and-silver package for far too long, pondering their creative brief on how to show The Hershey Company’s support for International Women’s Day. How quickly do we think “HER” was abandoned as a possibility? And why? Was it simply too... expected?
It should be noted that the “Celebrate SHE” campaign was announced in 2021, not 2022. This photo is either an old one from Poling’s photo roll, or Hershey is rolling out the campaign again this year, turning it into an annual thing. (I guess there’s also the possibility that wherever Poling is shopping has very, very low chocolate bar turnover.)
But the whole grammatical nightmare started last year, as you can see by this February 2021 press release. The limited-edition HerSHEy’s bar was given out as a freebie to visitors of Hershey’s Chocolate World store locations in Times Square, Vegas, and (of course) Hershey, Pennsylvania, to “celebrate a woman in their life.”
“We want to encourage everyone to share some extra goodness and take a moment to celebrate the ‘SHEs’; the women and girls who have inspired us, motivated us and have made a positive change in our lives,” said Veronica Villasenor, Vice President, Chocolate, The Hershey Company, in the press release.
Anyway, Hershey can rest assured that the internet will forget this whole thing even happened in about 24 hours.
Happy Early International Women’s Day to one and all!