Some recent studies have suggested that women now make the majority of big household purchases. One study says women are the primary consumer decision maker in 80% of all households in America. This is probably why all the car companies are producing commercials aimed at women. And what’s an easy way to appeal to women? Make fun of men!

Kim Katrall Nissan commercialI think it’s great to be able to laugh at ourselves, our sex or our gender, and I don’t see any harm done except when media gang up on certain groups. When that happens it’s easy to see the trend. And right now car companies are making fun of men.

Here are a few examples of current car commercials you may have seen that make fun of men:

A woman and a man are in their parked car and the man is telling his wife or girlfriend about how smart he is and how lucky she is to have him. By this we are led to believe that women have to put up with this kind of gloating all the time. He says “not only did you get this” (motioning to his body), “but you also get this” (pointing to his head). He then steps on the gas and the car reverses instead of driving forward. The woman then has a smug smile on her face and she says to him, “what did I get?”

It’s moderately funny but the car-in-reverse joke is old. The message is this: Men are mostly stupid and women have to put up with their egos.

Here’s another one:

A man and a woman are driving in their car and the man says “it’s a rule: i before e except after c.” The woman then proceeds to list several words like “neither” that break this spelling rule. At the end, as the man helps their dog into the back of the car he looks at her and begrudgingly admits “rottweiler” also breaks the rule (even though “rottweiler” is not an English word so it’s hardly a good example).

Again, the smug look appears on the woman’s face. It’s the look that says: Men think they know everything but really it’s the women who have to correct them all the time.

Let’s make it three examples:

A woman driving alone in her car drives up to her house. Before she pulls into the driveway she sees her husband is up a ladder with the leaf blower and their kids run rampant on the lawn which is a complete mess with toys strewn all over the place. Then the dog walks across the lawn and we see that its fur was dyed blue (presumably by the out-of-control kids).

The woman decides to drive straight on by, and the familiar smug look on her face says “I should have known not leave them alone with their father, but I’ll straighten things out later.”

The message is this: You can’t leave men alone with children because everything will go to hell in a hand basket. Men do not make good parents and women have to fix things in the end.

None of these commercials say anything about the quality or features of the cars. Wouldn’t you think that would be valuable information to know when purchasing a car?

I saw all three commercials in one evening while watching just two hours of TV. I think each commercial has merit on its own. It’s the trend that is disconcerting. What is the message that boys and young men are receiving from this trend?

I wonder why it seems that no one but me seems to notice these trends. Meanwhile, commercials aimed at men are being pulled from the airways because they are considered inappropriate. This commercial with Kim Katrall is truly funny and far more original. On top of that, the commercial does discuss the features of the car.

If you can think of any other examples, car companies or other products, please post them in the comments below.