In response to my last post, several readers mentioned that they had no idea what the AutoZone Fix Finder 30 commercial was about. Other readers didn’t find anything objectionable with the way AutoZone portrayed the men who shopped and worked there. I think these two issues are linked. AutoZone spent so much energy denigrating men in the commercial that the point of the ad was lost. At the same time, denigrating men is so normal in our culture that it can be hard to notice it, or even imagine a commercial not doing so.
Interestingly AutoZone has a Spanish version of the Fix Finder 30 commercial. Perhaps some of my Spanish speaking readers will pick up on an anti father message in the commercial, but just looking at the Spanish version it strikes me how much better both the AutoZone employee and the customer are portrayed:
For reference, here is the English version again:
From a marketing perspective both commercials are trying to get across the same brand/value message, but visually at least the Spanish version seems to do a much better job (try watching both with the sound off). In the English version the brand/value message is so overwhelmed by the bitter anti-man message that it is difficult to even detect. Here is the synopsis of the English version of the commercial’s message from ispot.tv:
AutoZone provides its Fix Finder engine tool to help customers check their engine light on the spot, then offers mechanics to help them get the most likely fix. This couple discovered their problem was most likely an O2 sensor, and they can get it repaired right away. Turns out the husband didn’t have to wait a whole month to get that looked at…because it totally just came on yesterday.
Here is the English translation of the same synopsis from the Spanish commercial on youtube (via Google translate):
The rivalries of fans will exist. But when it comes to your car, the AutoZone team is always by your side. With Fix Finder, you find the problem when your ‘check engine’ light comes on. Free. Hopefully the rivalries between fans would be solved that easy.
In the Spanish version the rivalry exists because the youngest son is rooting for a different team than his father and older brother. This is light and airy compared to the dark, bitter feminist contempt the wife has for her husband in the English version.