Honda’s “woman turns into bike” ad

// 20 April 2008

Honda describes itself as a “a company society wants to exist”. It’s a shame no-one passed on the message to whoever commissions their advertising.

[Update: Just got an email response from Honda about this, saying that “the commercial itself is not an official video released by Honda UK Marketing”.]

(Via Echidne of the Snakes and Sparkle*Matrix)

Comments From You

Redheadinred // Posted 21 April 2008 at 1:06 am

Argh. ‘Pure thrust’ – ha ha, what a subtle pun.

Raelene // Posted 21 April 2008 at 3:05 am

Wow. Demeaned as a woman, ignored as a consumer! Because only men ride motorcycles? Thanks, Honda…

Becca Howe // Posted 21 April 2008 at 3:18 am

Images of women as, or being used as representations of, consumer products is so prolific that people don’t even see them anymore. Even most women are manipulated into buying and desiring whatever has the sexiest female characters associated with them. It is at the point when a women’s sex or sexuality is used as currency that they no longer have control over what should be solely in her control.

chem_fem // Posted 21 April 2008 at 7:47 am

eewww!

Caitlin // Posted 21 April 2008 at 9:42 am

Love the choice of music as well. Smack my bitch up is such a delightful song. What a disgusting advert.

Feministy // Posted 21 April 2008 at 10:01 am

What a shame. There are actually some Honda ads that I like, but this one is horrible.

Shea // Posted 21 April 2008 at 10:04 am

Oh this is just plain wrong……..

Leigh Woosey // Posted 21 April 2008 at 11:19 am

Horrified as I am, I still have to ask how we know this is an official, endorsed Honda advert? Is there an index of these things, somewhere? I know this is likely to be my ‘This is a Joke, right?’ muscles working, but we can only criticise Honda if this is an advert, not a proposal or parody or personal project.

Jess McCabe // Posted 21 April 2008 at 12:25 pm

I’ve updated the post to show the response I got from Honda. However, they only spoke about it not being an official advert by Honda in the UK, which is a weird way of putting it if the campaign wasn’t sanctioned by anyone at Honda (although I guess they could just not know).

However, even those “unofficial” campaigns are often paid for by the companies, and released into the internet by someone else. Hence they get to attach their brand to an advert they could never get away with otherwise.

Leigh Woosey // Posted 21 April 2008 at 12:47 pm

However, even those “unofficial” campaigns are often paid for by the companies, and released into the internet by someone else. Hence they get to attach their brand to an advert they could never get away with otherwise.

Scary stuff. Thanks for finding out, Jess!

Amity // Posted 21 April 2008 at 4:03 pm

I just love it when companies portray women as objects, literally. The accompanying song makes it all the more offensive.

sparklematrix // Posted 21 April 2008 at 10:17 pm

“However, even those “unofficial” campaigns are often paid for by the companies, and released into the internet by someone else. Hence they get to attach their brand to an advert they could never get away with otherwise”

Yes, scary stuff indeed, thanks Jess.

Rachel // Posted 22 April 2008 at 12:33 pm

That’s a real shame. I’m the proud owner of a Honda CB500, which I chose just as much for the companies track record on this sort of issue as the reliability and build quality of the machine. Overall Honda stand out for the reason that their way of marketing bikes doesn’t exclude or target one particular demographic, in a market that is on the surface of things pretty anti-woman (you only need to pick up a bike magazine or go to a bike show to see what I mean).

Edward Green // Posted 22 April 2008 at 5:12 pm

I am pretty sure that this is not a real Honda advert. There seems to be no corporate branding, and the riding strikes me as dangerous – not the sort of thing you put in an advert.

Daffydd // Posted 3 June 2008 at 6:01 pm

This is NOT an official Honda ad, just some stereotypical ‘fantasy’ that happens to feature a Honda ‘supersports’ motorcycle. And the Prodigy video for ‘Smack my bitch up’ featured a day’s activities through the eyes of a particularly nasty pimp, revealing themself, only in the very last frame, to be… a woman. Sexploitataion or ironic commentary? You choose.

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