Ad Space – Been a Bit Since We Did One This Sexist

You are now entering Ad Space, a realm of commercials, brought before us so we might examine how they work, and discuss why we both love and hate them so. So it is written …

The Product:
Goodyear tires

The Promotions:

The Pitch:
There’s nothing more terrifying than a woman on the road, if she doesn’t have a big, strong man or a big, strong Goodyear tire to keep her safe!

Despite the blatant sexism on display (or rather because of it), I can’t help finding these ads charmingly quaint.

Of course, I’m saying that from my perspective, not just as a male, but as someone born decades after these ads came out.

It’s not that, since these ads, sexism has been eliminated from our advertising, oh no no. There’s plenty of that around still. But I’m used to commercials indulging in more covert sexism.

Stuff like using female spokespeople to sell some products and male spokespeople to sell others. Utilizing women’s sex appeal in a way they probably wouldn’t with men. Attempting to associate their product with stereotypically masculine or feminine lifestyles.

Basically, stuff that when viewed in the larger context of our media, is definitely playing into sexist trends, but taken on its own can try to claim plausible deniability. Or, failing that, try to frame itself as a satire of sexist attitudes, not an endorsement of them. (“Dr. Pepper Ten: IT’S NOT FOR WOMEN!!”)

But in these old ads … there is just no attempt to hide it. The message is straight up that a women are incapable of handling the pressures of driving, unless a) a man, or b) Goodyear tires are there to protect them.

These commercials are so in your face and unapologetic – so unaware they have any reason to be apologetic – I just find them more amusing than anything else.

It’s like how, if I hear someone claim vaccines cause autism or are part of a sinister corpo-government conspiracy, I’d be upset at them for spreading such misinformation. But if they claim vaccination upsets our bodily humors, which can only be re-balanced via careful application of leeches … I mean, they’re no less wrong, but they’re so behind the times, I can’t bring myself to take them seriously.

Your mileage, of course, may vary.