Sex sells

Calm down, Twitterverse; Audi’s latest Superbowl commercial has caused far more uproar than warranted.

The commercial, which features a teenaged boy going to prom in his Dad’s new Audi sports car, aims to show how the car gives him the confidence to break out of his shell.

In the ad, this confidence manifests itself in him going up to the prom queen and kissing her.

Many tweeters have accused Audi of condoning sexual assault, arguing that the ad portrays the young boy kissing a girl without her consent.

This is a classic narrative that Audi used craftily to effectively sell their car.

But, it’s not the first time that an ad has capitalized on portraying an empowered underdog character.

The outcry is demonstrative of how individuals in today’s day and age can express their discontent so much more quickly thanks to social media, however brief and reactive their messages may be.

One thing that this public discontent with the ad does show is how much more easily our society is willing to critically discuss gender dynamics in the media.

Twenty years ago, this sort of narrative wouldn’t have raised many eyebrows.

Our culture should ask tougher questions about the gendered and sexualized messages our media conveys.

It’s time to look at broader trends in Superbowl advertising in general instead of centering attention on one ad.

Car commercials often try to pander to their male demographic by showing how women find men with expensive cars sexy. Sex sells — that’s undeniable. If we’re going to take issue with one ad, we should take issue with the larger portrayal of women in Superbowl ads, advocating for messages that portray women as more than just sexual objects of desire.

It’s time for tweeters to take their focus away from one relatively harmless ad campaign and focus on the bigger picture.

— Journal Editorial Board



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