I’m speaking, of course, about the latest ad for the 2014 Kia Forte. Carrying on from the theme of their “Hotbots” Superbowl ad, Kia once again features a sexed-up robot and a slightly-nerdy man.
But in this ad, the robot goes beyond simply being sexy. She actually seems to be USED for sex.
In the ad, we see a man driving the car and smiling at his passenger. Cut to his passenger: a fembot. She is smiling back at the driver. The driver gives the car a command to navigate him back home.
They arrive at his house, showing off some features of the car along the way. When they park and get out of the car, they notice that there are some birds sitting on a lamppost over the car. So, using her robotic strength, the fembot rotates the post to move the birds away.
The couple smile at each other, the man running his eyes over the fembot’s form. Then they link arms and walk inside.
So, what are we supposed to take away from this ad? That men should be desiring robotic women? That the only woman who will be impressed by this car are robotic ones?
Or, that the only creative ad directors at Kia are idiotic ones…?
Tessa Needham finished her PhD in Performing Arts at the University of Western Sydney (Australia) in 2008. Her thesis explored the potential of performance to provoke change, and part of her research was Bodily, a solo theatrical performance about body image. She loves technology and the creative arts, and is passionate about the different cultural forces affecting the body image of girls and women. She teaches computers and does freelance creative work: www.tessaneedham.com.