Saturday, August 20, 2011

Explain this one to me

Why do certain things go viral? This is an ad from the '60s for Goodyear tires that someone recently posted and already it's gotten close to a million hits. Why? Plus, it's labeled the "Most Sexist Ad of All-Time". Huh?? What am I missing?

23 comments:

Sean Kernan said...

Most Sexist ad of all time may be a stretch but it does seem to assume that driving is much more difficult for women than for men.

Anonymous said...

It's the equivalency of saying, "Don't touch this". What's the first thing that happens? Somebody touches this. But I must admit, I've always had a weakness for safe and secure female drivers.

Anonymous said...

The presumption is that women are out of their league behind the wheel. Danger at every turn. Heart-thumping music. Look out! Do you see that "Walk" sign? You're going to run over a pedestrian, Little Lady!

"My God, it's harrowing driving to the airport! Thank God, my handsome, collected husband is back from his trip and he can get back in the driver's seat where he belongs. Disaster averted!"

Kai said...

Not to be a picky, but it's also "Sexist" rather than "Sexiest". Maybe that's the issue...sexist it is. Sexy it definitely ain't!

Johnny Walker said...

Typo there, Ken. It says "Most SexIST Ad of All Time". It's entertaining to watch something so bizarrely of its time. The reason it's got so many hits might not be because it's gone "viral" (as in people are sharing it everywhere) but that a select few big sites have linked to it (for example, Yahoo.com).

Aside from a window into a weird time where an advert like that could be taken seriously (and it makes me wonder what people will be laughing at in our TV -- OTT news, perhaps?) I don't think it's anything too special. I laughed, but it's not good enough for me to share it with my friends.

Sebastian said...

It gets hits because we live in a PC world.

Just look at that "mormons ban mormon-critic book by Sherlock Holmes author" headline.

The book wasn't banned. But people jump on everything concerning political correctness.

I haven't even visited the YouTube page yet but bet a twenty that the political correctness advocates are waging a war against the people trolling them :-)

wv: idablerg

I remember Ida fondly. She was my first piano teacher...

Mark said...

Actually, the "Most Sexist Commercial of All Time" is the cutely competitive one GoodYear runs in Saudi Arabia:

"If a woman's behind the wheel she must be a prostitute so she probably drives on BF Goodrich."

Jonathan Ernst said...

Ian: They're not going to release the album because they have decided that the cover is sexist.

Nigel: Well, so what, What's wrong with being sexy? I mean, there's nothing wrong with...

Ian and David: Sex-ist!

RCP said...

I found this funny. The contemporary anecdote? The opening sequence of the first season of The Mary Tyler Moore Show, when MR heads to Minneapolis in her white Mustang - with no man in sight! (Unless he was in the trunk)

RCP said...

That should be "contemporary antidote"

Mark said...

I thought the ads for "Men Are Categorically Better Than Women in All Things" brand breakfast cereal were more sexist, but what do I know?

Paul Duca said...

It's just the presumption that women are sweet but helpless creatures who don't know how to cope with things like that. Don't you remember when Betty Draper had a broken fan belt? She was ready to have sex with the mechanic because she didn't have enough money to pay for it.

Actually, this 1970-era spot is a step up for Goodyear...in the '60s they ran ads with the little lady stranded with a flat, totally helpless, stuck at night in some place that makes you think a rapist/murderer is around the next bend.

But for Most Sexist I nominate Geritol and it's claim to immortality "My wife...I think I'll keep her"

DogsOnDrugs.com said...

My personal fave

maryclev said...

I have to say, the part of that ad with the woman driving to the airport, had all the heart-pumping excitement of a Quinn Martin production.

WV: mescr

M-E-S-C-R; Mescre makes the very best--sexist ads.

Mike Schryver said...

Yeah, the Geritol ads were definitely more sexist.

I don't think the ad is so much about women being unable to drive as it is trying to raise men's fears of not protecting their wives.
Still sexist, I guess, but not really presenting women as incompetent - just in need of the best tires their hubby can buy.

-bee said...

This ad is an interesting echo of earlier eras when a woman or girl could not walk out in a town/city street alone after dark without incurring quite a significant amount of risk.

Just as there are still some sentiment that women who dress 'sexy' are somewhat to blame for getting raped, in an earlier time just walking around alone after dark alone was considered to be 'asking for it'.

Personally, this ad does not strike me as being as insidiously sexist as many others, but it is quite condescending all the same.

David O'Hara said...

This isn't about SHE can't handle driving. It's about being stranded in dark, potentially, dangerous places. Who is more at risk, a man or a woman? Your sixteen year old son or sixteen year old daughter? Whether people like it or not there are differences in the sexes. So certain things are going to be 'sexist'. Doesn't mean good or bad just IS.

Michael Reed said...

It's sexist because it implies that the safety of a woman is of greater importance than that of a man and that female welfare should be of paramount importance to men.

It's regarded as sexist in societies that are mired in feminism because it's possible to infer a symbolic meaning that is mildly demeaning of the capabilities of women.

Feminists can't have it both ways. They continually lobby for enormous resources to be expended on protecting women because they are supposedly weak and helpless (domestic violence issues, for example). Then they complain that an advert like this is condescending.

normadesmond said...

whoever labeled it the most sexist ad
of all time was probably born in 1985.

WizarDru said...

I like how the ad makes it a special point to show the wife sliding over to the let the man in his rightful place. Finally, her horrible nightmare is over and a man can drive again, keeping her from having to face such a trial any longer.

John said...

I actually much prefer the B.F. Goodrich tire ad from the 1960s. Plus, she could just squash those sexist guys over at Goodyear....

Paul Duca said...

Thanks, John...your link led me to one of the Goodyear ads I mentioned in my post:


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yCpQwdpkXno&feature=related

Anonymous said...

Remember "Gentlemen Prefer Hanes"? Commercials filled with shots of men stealing glances of women's legs like Pavlovian perverts. An interesting mishmash of sexy (nice legs) and sexist (all the men staring). But who cares what he prefers; women are ones wearing the pantyhose so the tag line became "What the Lady Prefers." So now nobody wears them.