Is this ad for the new Renault Koleos sexist?

A still from the advertisement.

A still from the advertisement.

Renault has launched an advertising campaign promoting its new Koleos SUV.

In the good-looking ad, against a catchy, cheesy sound track, a couple embark on a ‘glamping’ trip in their new SUV.

As they set up camp the woman pretties up the tent arranging flowers, while the man erects a satellite dish, then goes fishing. He returns victorious, and his partner transforms the catch into a dainty sushi platter, which she then proceeds to feed to him with chop sticks. 

On the website Campaign Brief, viewer comments include “charming”, “cute” and “funny” but, oddly, no-one seems to have raised the issue of sexism. Thankfully, YouTube commenters are a little more forthcoming – “This is so sexist it made me feel physically ill,” writes a riled-up 'Bertie Page'. 


The campaign’s slogan “Beautiful meets capable,” we’re told by advertisers, is their way of saying Aussie car buyers no longer need to sacrifice style for practicality. 

That’s all very well, but why does the woman in the film have to represent all that is stylish and beautiful, while the male “tradie” character gets to be the hunter-gatherer-solver-of-problems-macho-man? 

Do television viewers not care? Or are we just so accustomed to subliminal gender stereotyping in advertising that we’re immune?   

Either way, you’d really think by 2013 we would be a little more enlightened.