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Thursday, June 14, 2007

Dear Ladies, You’re Dumb. Love, Hyundai

posted by on June 14 at 13:45 PM

Here. Watch this new Hyundai commercial.

I object!

“Who in the world doesn’t want to be smart? The whole human race wants to be smart. Even guys who aren’t smart wish they were smart.”

What the hell? Einstein, Kennedy, the Wright Brothers, and the Professor on Gilligan’s Island is the best you can do? Cause white dudes are the only people in history who’ve ever proven to be smart? Would it kill you to flash a picture or two of her, her, her, or her?

Besides that, when you’re showing images of the “everyday smart man,” where the hell is the female teacher? The female doctor? Or even the mom? Moms can be smart!

Jesus, Huyndai. Not too smart if you ask me. Not that you would… I’m just a girl.

RSS icon Comments


Silly girl. Everyone knows only men buy cars.

Posted by monkey | June 14, 2007 1:57 PM

Notice that there's also only a partial second clip of an unidentified black man. So to be smart, you have to be a WHITE male.

Stupid Hyundai.

Posted by NaFun | June 14, 2007 2:01 PM

This is discrimination against coyotes!

Posted by Bellevue Ave | June 14, 2007 2:01 PM

Can you add for starters:

Lise Meitner

Bess Truman

Hedy Lamarr

Margaret Thatcher (pure evil, sure, but SMART pure evil)

Sally Ride

Bonnie Dunbar

Susan Faludi

Sandra Day O'Connor

Jane Goodall

Zsuzsa "Susan" Polgar

Rosalyn S. Yalow

Linda B. Buck

Katharine Graham

Toni Morrison

Margaret Meade

(If you don't know who some of these women are - you should - look 'em up).

Posted by COMTE | June 14, 2007 2:02 PM

They're all burning in hell with Molly Ivins.

Posted by Mr. Poe | June 14, 2007 2:04 PM

Where are the GAY people? We're not smart now? You must spend too much time with ECB.

Posted by Angry Andrew | June 14, 2007 2:05 PM


Did you really leap from "showed pictures of guys" to "Hyundai thinks women are stupid"?

Is there a firesale on outrage over there?

Jesus, here I am celebrating the Massachusetts decision not to rip away marriage from people, and I totally didn't realize I should have been offended that a car commercial didn't reflect gender diversity.

Posted by torrentprime | June 14, 2007 2:05 PM

What about me?

Posted by Jean Enerson | June 14, 2007 2:08 PM

Because the women you mentioned are too smart to even want to be mentioned in a car commercial. especially for hyundai.

Posted by thecandyqueen | June 14, 2007 2:09 PM

Chicks with Cars!

Posted by NapoleonXIV | June 14, 2007 2:11 PM

What about Dagny Taggart?

Posted by Mr. Poe | June 14, 2007 2:11 PM

everyone has been hanging out with chaz too long.

Posted by Bellevue Ave | June 14, 2007 2:11 PM

The professor on Gilligan's island was ten times smarter than these chicks.

Posted by Sean | June 14, 2007 2:11 PM

I think Hyundai is actually targeting really stupid guys who are insecure about not being very smart. Besides, what smart person buys a fucking Hyundai anyway?

Posted by Sally Struthers Lawnchair | June 14, 2007 2:13 PM

you know, korean people and black people do have some issues. i am not shocked by this ad.

Posted by Bellevue Ave | June 14, 2007 2:13 PM

If that's who's in hell, I got a few of the seven deadlies left to cross off my list before I'm eligible. Sign me up. I'd be in good company. (Though we might have to make Maggie our fire dancing monkey when she acts up.)

Posted by bitch on heels | June 14, 2007 2:14 PM

Why would Hyundai target women? They can't *drive.*

Posted by Gloria | June 14, 2007 2:16 PM

Jean Enerson isn't smart.

Posted by Fnarf | June 14, 2007 2:18 PM

What do you mean? They haven't caught her yet!

Posted by NapoleonXIV | June 14, 2007 2:21 PM

Jean Enerson isn't smart? She smokes cigarettes like all liberated independant women do, shoplifts without getting caught and wears some of the ugliest outfits while doing the news and not getting fired for it. Jean Enerson is a freakin' genius!

Posted by Steve Pool | June 14, 2007 2:25 PM

Though I agree with your sentiment Megan, the only person you mentioned on your list that an average person would recognize is Oprah.

That's how shitty our public school system is.

Posted by elswinger | June 14, 2007 2:27 PM

smart people don't pay attention to Hyundai commercials.

Posted by duncan | June 14, 2007 2:27 PM

Watch it, Pool!

Posted by Paulus | June 14, 2007 2:31 PM

Dammit, that was supposed to be credited to Kathi Goertzen! It appeared that way in the preview, but reverted to my name on post. Fuck!

Posted by Paulus | June 14, 2007 2:33 PM
Where are the GAY people? We're not smart now? You must spend too much time with ECB.

Gay men are maybe 2.5% of the population compared to over 50% of the population who are women. Gay boys aren't given Barbies to play with instead of science kits. There isn't a widespread belief that gay men aren't smart or capable of being in government, business, or science.

Not only that, gay white men tend to look just like heterosexual white men.

Posted by jamier | June 14, 2007 2:34 PM

Damn, I'm an average person and yes I do recognize Oprah! She is a super smart lady! You know how I can tell? She rich! She always has books to suggest for me to read. You know, Oprah's book club? She made me so well rounded. Her show has other smart rich people on it too! Oprah always asks them smart questions. When she goes on talkin' tours, she charges A LOT OF MONEY for tickets. She ain't no fool! Get it while you can girl! That's what I say! Damn, Oprah she's smart. I love me some Oprah.

Posted by Gayle | June 14, 2007 2:39 PM

Eat my ass out through a park bench Kathi Goertzen!

Posted by Jean Enersen | June 14, 2007 2:44 PM

Aside from alla that... As a woman, I don't actually mind "guys" being used to refer to a group of mixed-whatever people.

Posted by Dorion | June 14, 2007 2:44 PM

Where are the gay men? She already mentioned the Professor.

Posted by elswinger | June 14, 2007 2:45 PM

Everyone knows female teachers are sexy, not smart. And doctors. But not moms.

Posted by Frank | June 14, 2007 2:46 PM

it's frasier! the voilin teacher was a woman. and maybe the hand moving the chess piece...

but what a stoopid commercial. and sexist. it completely reinforces the idea that of all the smart people, most of them are white males. if you can't see that you are part of the problem.

and i'm fairly certain frasier would never drive a hyundai.

Posted by infrequent | June 14, 2007 2:57 PM

Was that a quick flash of the Ship Canal Bridge near the beginning of the commercial (at the 1:25 mark)?

Just curious if anyone else saw that.

Posted by Willis | June 14, 2007 3:01 PM

Sean @ 13:

If Professor Hinkley was so damned smart, how come he could never get them off the island?

Posted by COMTE | June 14, 2007 3:02 PM

uh, gilligan.

Posted by infrequent | June 14, 2007 3:04 PM

The professor was more of a theorist.

Posted by Mary Ann | June 14, 2007 3:07 PM

Anyone remember that Hummer commercial where the young mom's watching her kid play and the other mom lets her kid punch the young mom's kid or something stupid, and the young mom sees a Hummer ad, drags her kid to the dealership, signs for Hummer and drives off in it with a self-satisfied smirk as a caption comes up saying, "Let your girl out."?

I found that commercial way more insulting than this, for a variety of reasons that I would hope are obvious.

Posted by Gomez | June 14, 2007 3:35 PM

Only a stupid girl would leap to the conclusion that Hyundai thinks women are unintelligent by viewing this add (much less worry about it to the point of comment).

Lets compare it to ads that really do claim one sex is smarter than the other…

How about the Domino's Pizza ad called "Home Improvement." In the spot, a woman in a home improvement store rings one of the many doorbell displays which cause men throughout the store to come running like salivating dogs believing it's the Domino's delivery guy at the door.

Or how about the myriad of ads that claim Daddy can't cook. Daddy can't clean. Daddy can't discipline the child. Daddy can't control himself in Circuit City. Daddy runs in circles holding a baby at arm's length. He has absolutely no idea what it is or why it makes that noise. Daddy takes the kids to McDonalds because Mom's not Home.

Burping, farting, ignorant, and virtually useless; that's how the average man is depicted nowadays.

In matters of pop culture, guys are never depicted in a glamorous fashion. In most TV ads men are controlled by either their cars, their hormones, their need for a brewski, or their appetites or all of the above.

And you get all bent out of shape when “smart” (though largely unrecognizable) women are excluded from an ad designed to sell cars to men. That’s like complaining when men with nice legs are excluded from pantyhose commercials.

Give me a break and get over it.

Posted by You_Gotta_Be_Kidding_Me | June 14, 2007 3:38 PM

girls and other people not included in the ad-take note. you are being held in the highest regard. hyundai drivers are laughed at as much as kia drivers-therefore you are smart in NOT buying one. actually come to think of it- smart men don't drive hyundai. they are a wimpy, horribly made cars. so i'm not sure what i just proved there.

Posted by brad | June 14, 2007 3:44 PM

i have to agree with 37; men are portrayed as oafish gluttonous idiots.

Posted by Bellevue Ave | June 14, 2007 3:48 PM

You always have to have a black guy in the background to certify that your white guy's choice of car is cool. But they can't drive it, unless you are showing off the sound system.

Same goes for women - if the target audience is guys you show women noticing the car, but they don't get to drive it.

But both gay guys and women can be in the car with you, so long as the white guy drives.

Man, this is SOOOOOOO 70s. Talk about stupid ...

Posted by Will in Seattle | June 14, 2007 4:08 PM

@6: Famous gay smart person for their next ad: Alan Turing.

Or we can just admit that advertising is pretty always stupid and ignore it.

Posted by supergp | June 14, 2007 4:16 PM

Commercials are not fair. They will never be fair. They will never feature healthy or realistic portrayals of actual people and their lifestyles, because the whole point of commercials is to sell you things that you would otherwise have no reason to buy, and realism and fairness merely impede this process.

Getting angry at commercials for directing their ads at some demographic to which you don't belong (this ad is apparently directed at white male Democrats, since the featured "smart" politicians are FDR and JFK) is like getting mad at pickpockets for not targeting you.

Posted by flamingbanjo | June 14, 2007 4:27 PM

the doorbell pizza men is bad ad that might be capitalizing on a stereotype... that men like delivered pizza. i find it similar to the commercial where the women cannot help but be attracted to a man using axe body spray.

this commercial, however, both perpetuates a wrong and harmful stereotype (that the smarts are men), and is designed to appeal based on that stereotype. people were sitting in a room and either purposefully omitted women, or didn't come up with any.

Posted by infrequent | June 14, 2007 5:03 PM

First, I would agree with the notion that the ad seems to imply that only white men are smart.

But to be fair, they didn't name anyone in the ad. It relies entirely on the audience recognizing the person in a 2 second clip of video. They need extremely famous faces, not just any old smart person. Einstein is undoubtedly the most widely recognized face of a smart person in this country; and the fact that he happens to be a white guy is irrelevant.

Megan, the only woman you listed who would be immediately recognizable by a large segment of the population would be Oprah. I'd recognize the names of the rest of them, but not their image in 2 seconds of out-of-context video.

Comte, your list is even worse. The only one I'd recognize immediately by an unnamed face alone would be Margaret Thatcher.

So all you angry people out there, see if you can come up with a list of smart women that the general public would actually recognize immediately in a 2 second video clip.

Posted by SDA in SEA | June 14, 2007 5:11 PM

i think that the general public doesn't actually immediately recognize the picture of certain smart women is part of the problem.

Posted by infrequent | June 14, 2007 5:27 PM
Now here's a real car commercial!

Posted by Vivian McKechnie | June 14, 2007 5:50 PM
Posted by toadlady | June 14, 2007 5:51 PM

@45 - that’s because most of the general public has never actually seen a smart woman. (It’s hard to recognize what you've never seen.)

Posted by You_Gotta_Be_Kidding_Me | June 14, 2007 5:57 PM

If the Professor's so smart, how come he's still stuck on an island?

I don't know if this commercial was intentional, but it certainly was ignorant. It looks as white as some newspapers around here. At least there was a smart African-American man for a split second. No Americans shown of Asian or Native American descent, no Hispanics.

With a Republican narrator, Hyundai probably has their target demographic figured out and is simply catering towards that.

Posted by Ebenezer | June 14, 2007 6:44 PM

I love freedom of speach except when Megan Seling is talking. At least this wan't some fan-girl dribble about the teen band du jour.

Does she say everything that pops into her head or only the stupid things?

Posted by Rawwrrrr Rarrr Moree Drugs Raawwrrr Dick Cheny Raawwwrrrr Rarrr | June 14, 2007 7:45 PM

@37 & 39:
Yes, men do get portrayed as stupid by the media. But if you'll notice, the tasks at which they are portrayed as incompetent are tasks that are socially constructed as "women's work". The portrayal of men as incompetent at child care, house care, or their own health care reinforces the attitude that women should be kept responsible for those duties.
It's insulting to everyone and only serves to maintain the status quo.

Posted by anarkallisti | June 14, 2007 9:07 PM

It's just a target market, guys. Not a big deal.

Posted by Justin | June 14, 2007 10:58 PM

Megan must have been living under a pop culture rock for the past 20 years. I can't remember the last time when the average American man wasn't portrayed as a crass, dim witted boob in an American comedy. In fact, the prevailing cultural message is that men can only achieve depth and intelligence if they somehow "transcend" those stereotypically male qualities that keeps them from being as smart as their wives, girlfriends or mothers.

Not to put too fine a point on it, but Megan's hissy fit is completely imbecilic. Maybe it would work on Pandagon, but it doesn't really work here.

Posted by Roger Williams | June 15, 2007 4:12 AM

@51 – So, let me get this straight…

It’s demeaning to women to portray men as incompetent in stereotypically female roles.


It’s demeaning to women to portray women as incompetent in stereotypically male roles.


I’m gobsmacked.

Posted by You_Gotta_Be_Kidding_Me | June 15, 2007 9:44 AM

yeah GYBKM, it is demeaning to women in both cases. because both cases emphasize the misconception that men are better at the "important" things (the stereotypically male roles such as being smart). the former is actually demeaning to men as well as women.

not only that, but the commercials about men are usually attempts at humor, while this hyundia commercial most certainly is not.

Posted by infrequent | June 15, 2007 10:16 AM

@37- Ad has one d in it. Is that why you weren't in the commercial? Or maybe you just aren't pretty enough.

Posted by stiletto | June 15, 2007 11:11 AM

And you get all bent out of shape when “smart” (though largely unrecognizable) women are excluded from an ad designed to sell cars to men. That’s like complaining when men with nice legs are excluded from pantyhose commercials.

i just re-read this. wha?!?!

men don't wear pantyhose. women do buy cars. more importantly, woman can be smart. even if you are selling to men smart women can be used to demonstrate this point otherwise it reinforcing the idea that only men are smart.

and clearly that isn't the case, YGBKM.

Posted by infrequent | June 15, 2007 11:48 AM

i can't spell very well, apparently. i guess that doesn't make me look very smart. maybe i need to buy a hyundai, huh guys?

Posted by infrequent | June 15, 2007 2:47 PM

xadkwium yshropw reyxm cqdezabj yeaclx vzljtho hnumxijf

Posted by winv frbqocuev | June 25, 2007 3:05 PM

xadkwium yshropw reyxm cqdezabj yeaclx vzljtho hnumxijf

Posted by winv frbqocuev | June 25, 2007 3:10 PM

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