an Ad a Day

A look at the marketing that surrounds us.

Vintage Friday: Oldsmobile

Posted by Rosepixie on April 9, 2010

This is a classic Oldsmobile commercial.  I believe it dates from the 1950s sometime, but don’t have an exact year.  Please let me know if you know what year it first aired!

I think it’s funny that this commercial spends so much time on what other cars are like, but I do think that it makes it’s point well.

I noticed that it’s clearly a man operating the “complicated” car and a woman operating the Oldsmobile.  While I think it’s awesome that they used a woman in this ad, I think it’s also illustrates that the company believed women were less capable or comfortable with the more complicated requirements of the other car.  This isn’t exactly complimentary and reinforces the “women aren’t good drivers” stereotype, even if only subtly.

It’s very different from the flashy, often nonsensical car commercials that come out today (many of which never mention a single feature about the car at all), isn’t it?  I actually think I’d prefer car ads that sold cars on their merits more like this one (only without the subtle sexist commentary, please).


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