by John Cavanaugh
What a gorgeous bit of nostalgia from Chevrolet! Or whatever this is trying to be. Especially in tough economic times like these, I like to think about the possible target audiences. Even for a poster, which is not technically advertising. And since it begs the question, here are some possible responses:
- Hell yes! Those were the days. Women really knew their place back then. Nowadays I can hardly get the nurses to bring my meds on time. Because they just don’t understand that when I call them “doll” or “honey” it’s a term of endearment.
- Yes. But being a woman, I’m glad that there are things made out of plastic that are designed to do that now. I have better things to do. Like spend the money I got when Henry passed away.
- Yes. That’s a good one. And here’s another one. Remember when Polio was killing all those people? And separate water fountains for minorities. Oh, yeah. Good times, right?
- No. Because I was born after 1940. By the way, 1959 called. It wants its dignity back.
- No. But as a woman, I’d like to thank Chevy for making the choice for my next vehicle easier. Not having to consider Chevrolet should knock five minutes or so from my process.
- No. But more than that – could you explain to me exactly what you’re promoting here? Nostalgic misogyny? Retro fashion? Rolling back creature comforts in automobiles? I’m confused.
Sure. It’s just a poster. And honestly, I don’t believe there is any grand scheme to turn back the clock on women’s rights going on here. But this is not some internal company prank. You can actually buy the poster. From Chevrolet. And it appeals to a sentiment that will undoubtedly ruffle some feathers.
There is a promotional point to be made here. And certainly an artistic point. And I have nothing against nostalgia for its own sake. But, really. There were other choices for header on this poster. And someone chose this one.
So my question is this: Is making a few bucks and connecting in a “wink, wink, nudge, nudge” way with some casual nostalgic sexism worth angering a large, important and growing demographic for Chevy?
John Cavanaugh has been in advertising and marketing for over twenty years. Perhaps that’s long enough to look at it with a critical eye and apply what he’s learned to a broader business perspective. At least that’s what he tries to do at The Tap, Tap, Tap, his personal blog.
For John, writing is just an excuse to communicate. So sometimes it’s serious. Sometimes it’s frivolous. And most of the time it’s both. But it’s a constant invitation – to chat, commiserate, squabble or provoke. And it’s always intended as a shared opportunity to learn.
In addition to writing about the intersection of marketing and business, John also writes about autism advocacy, things that make him laugh and he even gives birth to the occasional poem. But we’re pretty sure Yeats doesn’t feel threatened.
John is currently providing freelance marketing and communication services to businesses, agencies and non-profits in and around Charlotte, North Carolina.