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. 

13 comments

  • I think we've got bigger things to worry about. Retrograde advertising pales into insignficance when when read about rock stars raping babies in the UK, the tragedy of the phillipines, and this pompous band of gits we elected to run the country managing to dismantle every achievement of the last few years.

    Commenter
    Deb DeGood
    Location
    sydney
    Date and time
    November 27, 2013, 10:36AM
    • Stereotypes exist for a reason.

      They are usually a reasonable portrayal of a homogenous group and not extreme examples of such.

      You don't have to be personally offended.

      Commenter
      Lazy Jesus
      Date and time
      November 27, 2013, 10:40AM
      • Perhaps I missed the memo revealing that women (or men for that matter) now constitute a "homogeneous group".

        Or that depicting a woman arranging flowers and feeding dinner to a reclining man now constitutes a "reasonable portrayal" of said group.

        Commenter
        Red Pony
        Date and time
        November 27, 2013, 11:03AM
    • Wow. They even have the woman narrate "beautiful" and the man narrate "capable". Just in case anyone wasn't clear where they stand or what they're supposed to be doing.

      Cute and charming it is not. It's gag-worthy.

      Commenter
      Red Pony
      Date and time
      November 27, 2013, 10:41AM
      • Are you arguing that it is sexist in its depiction of the female only, or also the male by using old stereotypes?
        Should it have reversed this?
        Do people really get physically ill watching such an ad?

        Commenter
        david
        Date and time
        November 27, 2013, 10:46AM
        • Judging by the plethora of complaints so far it would appear that women are rioting ing the street over this ad.
          It would appear that most of your readers do not care and again it is only a small but vocal minority who want their fifteen minutes who make a fuss

          Commenter
          Brian of Narangba
          Location
          Qld
          Date and time
          November 27, 2013, 10:48AM
          • I think this article is simply searching for sexism wherever a man and woman are depicted as in any way different. I feel that the media in general, or us all as a society, must be careful not to highlight differences and conflicts where there are none is detrimental to the drive to gender equality as a whole.

            Men and women are, generally, unequivocally, biologically different, which are expressed by differing external characteristics. So please, media, stop complaining whenever a difference ever appears!

            Commenter
            Simon
            Location
            Sydney
            Date and time
            November 27, 2013, 11:02AM
            • gender stereotyping has and always will exist, i don't see anyone complaining about adverts that portray men in a negative way.
              do women want equal rights or just convenient rights?

              Commenter
              Victorious Painter
              Date and time
              November 27, 2013, 11:03AM
              • I've just changed the Leunig cartoon on my desktop. It has four scenes with women carrying placards. In order, they say, "All men are bastards", "We will fight for equality", "Until" and "All women are bastards too". I thought it was topical!

                Commenter
                Grazzle
                Location
                Penrith
                Date and time
                November 27, 2013, 12:15PM
            • Gee, if you think this ad is offensive, you have way too much time on your hands. As Graham Kennedy used to say - ''It's a joke, Joyce''. If you really want something to whine about, why not devote some attention to ''Spree TV Ch78'' - Yes, yet another telemarketing channel for the brain dead (like we don't have enough of them already).

              Commenter
              Chris J
              Location
              Melbourne
              Date and time
              November 27, 2013, 11:08AM

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