Wonder Woman is viewed as a strong and fearless female character in popular culture — and one would think that the production company about to debut a major feature film based on the character would align its marketing tools with the same profile.
Instead, Warner Bros. has partnered with the protein-focused nutrition company ThinkThin to promote the upcoming flick, and it’s causing quite a stir, as many users believe it sends the wrong message.
“We wanted to celebrate a hero film featuring a woman in the leading role,” Michele Kessler, the president of ThinkThin, said in a press release on the partnership. “We love that Wonder Woman has super strength, and we’re proud to offer delicious products that give women the everyday strength they need to power through their day.”
But despite ThinkThin’s belief that its variety of protein smoothie mixes and bars are fit for powerful women — the primary target the upcoming film is celebrating — fans still have a lot to say about the partnership. Many believe teaming up with the company sends the wrong message from the film.
While the interpretation of the advertising materials is controversial, many appear most turned off by the word thin in the name of the brand. Still others don’t see an issue with the partnership — and are sounding off in defense of it on Twitter.
Some say that those taking offense are simply misconstruing ThinkThin’s message.
Robyn Silverman, a body-image expert and the author of Good Girls Don’t Get Fat: How Weight Obsession Is Messing Up Our Girls & How to Help Them Thrive Despite It, tells Yahoo Beauty that while the health company might not promote unhealthy dieting, the problem lies with the name of the company.
“While ThinkThin bars are not a diet food and even have promotional materials that say ‘a strong body makes a strong mind’ and ‘a scale can’t measure your strength, courage, kindness, or confidence,’ let’s face it: The name stinks!” she says. “It conveys to those who see the display of bars, and now Wonder Woman in conjunction with it, that ‘thin’ is what we are all supposed to strive for, think about, and be. Is this what the Wonder Woman movie executives really want?”
She also spoke about the message the partnership might send to those who are unaware of the products ThinkThin sells.
“When you look at Wonder Woman, girls and women should think ‘powerful.’ They should think ‘strong.’ They should think ‘superhero.’ Do you know what they shouldn’t be thinking? ‘Thin,’” she says. “Having Wonder Woman’s photo next to the brand ThinkThin is ridiculous and sends a negative message, even if unintended, to the very people they want to elevate and infuse with confidence: women and girls. The brand partnership was not a wise one for the movie — after all, this is Wonder Woman, not Weight-Loss Woman.”
While the superhero flick is not set to hit theaters until June 2, it seems that this advertising is already generating quite a lot of buzz. Whether it’s positive or negative remains to be seen.