After seeing an expression of anger and comment on a recent Vint-tro facebook post, it sparked me to write this blog on the topic of being “sexist” but what does this actually mean?
Firstly am I sexist? I’ve never considered myself as one, matter of fact I always thought quite the opposite, having a proven track record of equality towards all sexes. Consequently I believe females are the most powerful species in the world and I have said that, in witness of many friends over the years. I always see incredible qualities in every female, whether that be her intelligence, shape, eyes, or simply her soul, I truly stand by my statement.
Back to the facebook post; the image below was posted by a female Vint-tro member with the heading “What year? 1973?? I wonder why the officer didn’t notice the car behind her was parked on a double yellow line”
My comment was: “My question is, how popular were Morris Minors? .. anyway, I’m sure the young ladies biking attire is considered not suitable, however I like it”
So is my comment sexist, does my comment make me a sexist? .. I suppose it did because a follow up comment said my comment was “a bit sexist” but for many others it’s just a throwaway comment and considered tongue and cheek.
Did I make a comment intending to be disrespectful to women, no I did not, but I have to question myself, is my comment disrespectful to women or to men who think it’s disrespectful to women as being sexist? Quite possibly.
I have been involved in the automotive and Insurance Industry all my life, since leaving school in 1984, so what’s my point? well as you can imagine I have seen a lot of automotive advertising in my time, you could say it’s ingrained within me and although we should evolve and adjust to many things in life, automotive advertising, its history and culture will always be part of me but is this an excuse not to change?
Sex appeal has and continues to be used to sell many type of products. It’s simply been going on since the beginning of advertising itself and the automotive industry whether you think it’s appropriate or not has a history of using this to great effect.
Humour is often seen as a key attribute when sex is used in advertising but with the world having to fall in line with the latest guidelines to appease the PC police often described as snowflakes, is humour and sex appeal in advertising going to be a thing of the past?
This media to advertise Pot Noodle would certainly have those PC Police quacking in their shoes, its humour will be for some, so funny, but for others cringe worthy and guess what? This will be sexist! The one thing for sure is, you’ll remember it for right and wrong reasons. That’s advertising, that’s how it works.
The majority of people know that big brands of the world, which of course includes some of the most powerful car manufacturers will bow down to the PC police, I get it, they simply have to because the bigger the business becomes to more compliance and correctness has to be applied. Plus they want to be seen as doing the right thing and let’s be honest here, if they can’t be as creative as some in their own thinking, challenging the world’s PC correctness allows them to have a voice. Thank heavens for the really creative brands like BrewDog because they are awesome, no they really are awesome!
Back to car manufacturer advertising:
We have come a long way from the advertising that took part until recent times, I admit that when I see the latest Ferrari with a beautiful stunning model in the picture this always grabs my attention and I have no problem admitting that. My point is: You don’t buy a Porsche, Ferrari and many other sports cars just for their reliability do you? we’ve got Volvos for that! You buy a sports car for it’s looks, performance, they make you feel good, a sense of achievement and guess what, they make you feel cool and possibly sexy … well for some anyway
Is the phrase sexist used just when referring to women, if so why? Is it not “sexist” when a male is used for promotion to advertise. Where on earth would this leave the cosmetics industry and the models that work in that industry, where in the future will they apply their trade?
Perhaps this is a question for the power to be at Formula One, where under pressure from the PC brigade they banned grid girls. But has anyone thought that they are denying these girls their choice of work, and let’s be perfectly clear here, it wasn’t their fault these beautiful people look the way they did, surely this is just being anti-women, perhaps even jealous?. In essence, they banned these girls for being beautiful, and more alarmingly stopping them from being their own boss and earning a good living from modelling.
It’s been well over 100 years since women in the UK gained a voice, and by banning the grid girls, surely this was a complete backward step.
If you get offended about how sex is advertised with cars, why would you not get upset by seeing models advertising handbags, the topic is the same just a different consumers comodity.
David Gandy (below) is a beautiful man, and a model that is renowned for his love of classic cars, he is often photographed with cars that, like him, oozes sex appeal but because of the PC brigade, have we seen the last of this type of photoshoot or does it not apply to male models? Surely that’s a sexes statement if I ever heard one.
Now the Fiat 500 Abarth is a great little car, proper cool and trendy, it’s Italian flair portrays its sexeness and this is why the creators of Fiat’s media team captured everything about being Italian sexy cool. Their target audience was very specific and their adverts like this have played a huge part in the success of the Fiat 500.
So, are the days of sports car manufacturers advertising their brand with beautiful people well and truly over? Probably, which I find such a shame because sexy cars need sexy people.
But all’s not lost, we can always look at other ways to controversially advertise the latest sports car. Manufacturers could rag the car around, screeching and drifting through the main streets of capital cities causing tyre smoke pollution, noise bellowing out from the exhaust hitting the decibel limits and ……… hold on, hold on a minute …. snowflake alert in …… let’s go back to sexy people, ah, no we can’t do that, cars are becoming electric and that simply is not sexy!
Until next time
Peace & Love