Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Dodge follow-up (from Erica)

Apparently, Dodge has been taking heat for their misogynistic "man's last stand" commercial lately, and instead of rolling over and getting rid of the ad as they ought to, they've opted to produce another ad that doesn't exactly make up for everything.

The original ad- images of men voiced-over by a male voice making promises of "civilized behaviour" a la putting the toilet seat down and eating fruit for breakfast, all the while implying that these are from the checklist of emasculation- is bad enough, but the new one is even worse. It features a woman standing out on the lawn of a house while her male partner yells at her and throws her stuff out of a second-story window. She then gets into the advertised Dodge sedan and drives away while a text banner declares that Dodge makes getaway cars. I'm not making this up! Apparently, escaping from your angry partner who's throwing stuff at you is a marketing tool.

If you want to watch the ads, the original is available here and the new one is available here. I'd post them in here, but I don't really want their links to dirty the site.


  1. This comment has been removed by the author.

  2. oops - there was a typo in that comment. I just said,

    What the misogyny? Way more offensive. I've left a comment on the video online, and I hope everyone else does the same. They really need to know that this marketing ploy is not working.

    While we're on the theme of offensive superbowl commercials, though, how about the one where the guy loves his tires more than his wife, and he kicks her out of his car rather than give up the tires?

  3. Wow, and I thought it couldn't get worse than the first one! (Or the condescending comments from people suggesting that it's accurate and humorous and that anyone who objects could get over it.) But that's just...wow.

    What's up with the misogyny resurgence, anyway? Maybe I was just younger and oblivious, but it seemed like the 1990s were moving in a much more positive direction. I don't know if this is the backlash to that or what, but I wish it would just end already.

  4. This is just speculation, but I wonder if the economic crisis simply has people looking for scape goats. Today I taught my students about logical fallacies, and when we got to Post Hoc, it occurred to me that it's pretty easy for bigotry to latch onto that one. Just look at the Tea Party movement's readiness to blame problems on "voters who can't write the word vote in English." The reasoning might simply be "things were better before women started gaining so much equality, so women gaining equality must have robbed men of their rights."

  5. Though I agree that both commercials aren't working for me, I think I can see what Dodge is going for in the second one.

    It seems like the woman in the commercial has taken the "man's role" in the dispute. She is calm and impassive while he throwing things and being hysterical. Her position is more powerful, since she is leaving him instead of being left by him. Basically, she's sticking it to the man.

    The problem with it of course is that neither one of them wins in this situation. By laughing at this kind of domestic dispute Dodge is saying that its normal and harmless.

  6. That's an interesting reading of the text that you bring up, one that runs contrary to the normative discourse of "rational man/hysterical woman." I hadn't considered that.

    It's unfortunate, however, that they chose an argument that hints at domestic abuse for the context of that inversion, rather than something less loaded.

  7. Thanks for your comment, dadeckr. That's how I interpreted the ad too in terms of their intentions. Because yeah, it does look like the stereotypical break up has been inverted. It still bothers me, though for the reasons Erica has pointed out.