The mistaken notion that women are bad drivers has probably been around since the invention of the automobile, but in the '50s and '60s it was evidently so common that it was considered a legitimate premise for an ad. This week Buzzfeed pointed us to a commercial for Goodyear Polyglas tires that looks to be from the late '60s and was posted to YouTube with the title "The Most Sexist Ad of All Time." While that's a bold claim, this ad is definitely a contender.
"But Polyglas means more than mileage...when your wife has to drive alone," the announcer narrates ominously. Then there's a montage of the wife in question confused by signs and approaching the slightly blurry stopped car in front of her too fast. For a second it feels like a drunk driving ad, until you realize no drunk driving ad would have a soundtrack that can best be described as '70s procedural meets eerie heist.
"When a woman's at the wheel, Polyglas means more than mileage," the spot concludes -- see, it's the tagline with a twist! -- as we realize that oohhh, the reason she was driving at all was to pick up her sweet husband at the airport. And naturally she scoots over and lets him take the wheel.
The Goodyear ad echoed an earlier wives-can't-drive ad Jalopnik posted on Tuesday, a Volkswagen print advertisement that reads:
Women are soft and gentle, but they hit things.
If your wife hits something in a Volkswagen, it doesn't hurt you very much.
VW parts are easy to replace. A fender comes off without dismantling half the car. A new one goes on with just ten bolts. For $24.95, plus labor.
And a VW dealer always has the kind of fender you need. Because that's the one kind he has.
Most other VW parts are interchangeable too. Inside and out. Which means your wife isn't limited to fender smashing.
She can jab the hood. Graze the door. Or bump off the bumper.
It may make you furious, but it won't make you poor.
So when your wife goes window shopping in a Volkswagen, don't worry.
You can consistently replace anything she uses to stop the car.
Even the brakes.
So, let's review: Women, especially married women, are scared of driving and bad at it. Their mistakes tend to be expensive. They spend a lot of time shopping. They're not usually intelligent enough to realize that the brakes are the best way to stop the car.
Click over to Buzzfeed to see how Copyranter imagines Don Draper would have pitched the Polyglas ad to Goodyear -- it's so worth the read.