Fiat Superbowl Commercial

Based on the first few seconds of this ad, the viewer might think it’s a “typical” sexist advertisement. The woman is bent over – the viewer is clearly supposed to focus on her breasts and butt. As the ad progresses, it’s clear this ad is not typical in any way. There is a glimmer of hope though, when the woman realizes she has attracted this heterosexual male gaze and reprimands the onlooker. However, her passion in anger turns into passion in seduction, and even this image of a strong woman is sexualized. The woman is objectified even further since she is Italian. Not only does this play into the ‘sexy and foreign woman’ stereotype, it further objectifies the woman since the (assumed) American man literally cannot understand her, and therefore it’s understood that he is drawn to her only for her appearance. Like Jean Kilbourne states in Killing Us Softly 4, women are often objectified in media to the point where they actually become inanimate objects. In this ad, the woman literally IS a car. Not only is she depicted as only a sexual being, cars and driving are sexualized also. The tagline, “You’ll never forget the first time you see one,” only further engrains this message. The company doesn’t want the viewer to buy their car because it’s the most reliable or most fuel-efficient car, just like the man wasn’t attracted to the woman for her personality or intelligence. Instead, Fiat wants the viewer to buy the car simply because it’s beautiful, foreign, and bold. And because seeing this car for the first time is as memorable as seeing a beautiful woman, driving this car is as comparable to “driving/riding” a beautiful woman by association.

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