On Top of the World

Well behaved women rarely make history.

Open Letter to Chrysler Group LLC

The first car I ever owned was a 1998 Dodge Neon. It was red and other than the not-street-legal-at-the-time Lotus Elise it was exactly the car I wanted. I loved that car. So much that when it was totaled I used the insurance money to purchase an identical 1998 Dodge Neon.

But sometime in between then and now your corporation has decided you do not want me as a customer.

I watched the Superbowl last night, with my husband, my daughter, and my brother. None of us were particularly invested in the game, but it is tradition. We could have watched Titanic on TBS, or the never-ending Law and Order marathons on TNT and USA, or the equally never-ending CSI marathon on Spike. We could have watched a DVD or video-on-demand or done something entirely unrelated to the television. But we didn’t, we watched the game. I say this to make it clear that lots and lots of people of all shapes and colors and sizes and groups watch the Superbowl. It’s tradition.

And it is just as much tradition to watch the Superbowl ads. There wouldn’t be a focus group discussing the ads on every single morning news show if it weren’t a big deal. And the new ad for the Dodge Charger is insulting to myself, my husband, my daughter, my brother, and pretty much everyone else I know. Since you seem to be confused, let me explain a few things.

1. Women know about and watch football.
2. Women know about and like cars.
3. Men do not have to beat back their women (figuratively or literally) in order to be empowered.

Now, your ad was not the only one that featured an emasculating/misogynistic theme. There seemed to be at least one every break. But yours stood out to me because a) I hold such fond memories of my Neon, and b) considering your current financial situation, I’d think you’d want to sell as many cars, to as wide a variety of consumers, as possible, not insult 50% of the market (at the very least).

And beyond that, your ad doesn’t even make sense. If your target customer, the “typical” brow-beaten, harassed into submission by the woman he shares his life with man, has no control over his decisions or time or assets then how is he going to escape her iron will to buy a car that is being advertised as standing up to your woman? If your ad is true to life (and it’s not, thanks) then that woman would make him send it back.

If the idea here was to get people talking about your product, I guess you succeeded. But I don’t know, I thought the point was to sell cars. And I never want to own a Dodge again.



  Jennifer wrote @

Yes. This. This is a fantastic distillation.

My car is a Neon, too, a 2000 I’ve had since I got my license in 2004. I love the car, and before that ad I was considering buying another Dodge sometime in the future when this one inevitably goes.

I definitely will NOT be doing so now.

[…] Another trend for 2010? Hating women, all of whom are joyless tyrants preventing men from taking control of their own adult […]

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