About

This Mercedes Benz commercial from 2007 features a young, attractive blond woman at a library. She is shown trying to place an order for fries, a burger and a milkshake from a relatively plainly dressed, brunette female librarian. The librarian says, “this is a library.” The blond woman looks around, then repeats her order in a whispered voice. The library scene then ends and the words “beauty is nothing without brains” flashes across the screen, followed by the image of a car, the Mercedes-Benz E-Klasse.

Discussion

What stereotypes of women and hair color are being portrayed? Are these stereotypes that you have come across before? Where and in what ways?

How are beauty and brains represented in the commercial? How does the presentation of beauty and intelligence in this ad connect to broader cultural ideas about these topics? How do these concepts relate to the product the commercial is advertising?

What comparison is being made between women and cars? How does this compare to comparisons that are made between men and cars?

Who is the target consumer the advertisers are addressing? Is the consumer gender-specific? Class-specific? What cues help you come to this conclusion?