Being gender-biased is not just an aspect restricted to India, where a 'boy' is preferred over a girl when the good news is about to arrive for a family. 'Stop acting like a little girl' or 'Stop nagging like a woman' are a few of the sexist statements we hear in our peer group. But, in China, an Audi dealer went ahead and took an ad out which literally inspects a woman. In the video below, which starts with a bride moving on to her next chapter in life, marriage. The to-be mother-in-law literally inspects the girl while she is in the chapel with her would-be husband. The idea for Ogilvy & Mather Beijing, a popular brand building company was aimed at proper inspection of for pre-owned cars before buying them. The message in the ad is clear, but, the means of showing it is highly sexist and offensive comparing a woman to a used car. When the ad went live, a number of people slammed the company on Weibo, a popular social networking site in China. One of the users, dingjiexoxo on the social media channel shared the video titled, “Audi second-hand car ad in Wanda. This ad is so disgusting! It treats women like objects by comparing us to used and second-hand cars.” No wonder people in China are cheesed off.
The commercial actually created a massive outrage wherein a number of people in China are allegedly planning to boycott the brand altogether. Audi is one of the most popular luxury brands in China along side Mercedes-Benz and BMW. This new commercial would certainly be a blow to the company, particularly by upsetting potential used Audi car women buyers. But, is this the first time we have seen an ad that is so sexist and targets women? Not entirely!
In 2008, BMW also released an ad to advertise their premium selection of used cars with the title, 'You know you're not the first, but do you really care?'. This ad was a real one used by BMW, not in India of course, however, it did appeal to the audience in a negative manner. Another familiar ad was that of Aston Martin which shows a scantily clad model posing over a kitchen counter with a similar tag line. This commercial, however, was a fake which was revealed by Carhoots. The fake advert was shared on twitter but it was actually a Dutch Playmate Rosanne Jongenelen which was photoshopped and shared on the social media handle.
So why is it that time and again agencies come up with such regretful themes? The answer to this question is quite complicated and will vary from one culture to another but the roots lie in the general acceptance of the false notion that males are superior to females. Such negative creativity can severely harm a person's or a certain group's sentiments and that's what this Audi commercial has done.
Audi ad Video and Image Courtesy: South China Morning Post
BMW ad Image Courtesy: Creativeminds.com
Aston Martin ad Image Courtesy: Blogspot