A Mazda commercial from 2003 tried to break away from the norm of featuring ‘regular, cool, guy’ archetype driving a car. The UK advertisement featured a young woman trying to squeeze in her Mazda 2 hatch into a restricting parking space between two cars parked parallel to each other. After a pick-up truck driver quips that she won’t be able to parallel park, the lady decides to take a more… err… extreme approach to the matter. You’ll have to watch the video to know more. Hint: There is a ramp involved. The commercial is a jab at popularly held notions of women’s skill behind the wheel (Because… LOL… women drivers… LOL LOL LOL LOL).
The advertisement was released only on the Interweb, before the era of YouTube and Facebook, so it didn’t go viral. We thought it was quite brilliant. It made its point quietly without shoving Gloria Steinem and Bell Hooks down your throat. Fourteen years later, in the age of ‘femvertising’, it’s hard to tell if the sentiment behind women-oriented ad campaigns is genuine or it’s just corporates cashing in on said sentiment.
Besides breaking a damaging stereotype, the commercial managed to demonstrate some of the qualities that the Mazda 2 was expected to command – great manoeuvrability, compact dimensions, and a narrow wheelbase to tackle the ramp flawlessly. When posted by another party on YouTube, this ad only managed to generate this one profound response below.
Currently in its third generation, the Mazda 2 comes with a choice of four engines – two petrols with engine capacities ranging from 1.3 to 1.5 litres, and two diesel units. Besides a five-speed manual gearbox, Mazda also offers a four-speed automatic transmission on the car. So the women can drive too (LOL LOL LOL). There’s also a CVT available.