3 Sexist Super Bowl Ads to Watch for on Sunday

The Super Bowl is the Super Bowl of television commercials. Every year, ad agencies try to bring their top game to the commercials that run during the game. It’s not just a chance to sell things — although that is definitely high on the list. It’s a chance to wow everyone with your creativity, your humor and often, your sexism.

Yes, sexism. Unfortunately, commercials often dive full-on into outright sexism in an attempt at humor. Whether it’s the Mr. Potato Head ad (it’s funny because women won’t shut up), or last year’s Fiat ad (women, like Fiats, are both temperamental and for sale), or whatever fresh hell GoDaddy comes up with in any given year, ad agencies seem convinced that sex sells, and sexism sells even better.

I’d like to report that no sexism is going to be showing up on the television during this year’s game. Alas, I can’t. Here are three ads that show that sexism is alive and well.

3. “Kate Upton Washes a Car in Slow Motion,” Mercedes-Benz

It’s not necessarily the case that any commercial that starts and ends with objectification is absurdly sexist — David Beckham’s ad from last year was as objectifying as possible, but it’s hard to argue it’s sexist. Still, any ad based around “Hey, here’s someone pretty. Ogle them,” is already tiptoeing the line.

The Kate Upton spot does not disappoint, but not for the reason you’d expect. You see, the model isn’t so much washing her car as having it washed for her by a high school football team at a fundraiser. And they aren’t doing a very good job.

Yes, remarkably, an ad that exists as an excuse for people to ogle someone pretty manages to be even more sexist toward men than women. You see, in the presence of a pretty girl, we heterosexual and/or bisexual men become utterly unable to perform even basic tasks. We can’t stop looking at them, even for a second. It’s impossible!

2. “Perfect Match,” GoDaddy.com

It is not surprising that GoDaddy makes this list. GoDaddy exists to make this list. The only surprising thing is that they aren’t at the top.

In some ways, they’re off their game this year. I mean, sure, goofy-looking actor making out with a supermodel, whatever. Where’s the overly-cliched sexism? The implied nudity? The utter degradation of women? This is sad, GoDaddy. You guys are slipping. It’s nowhere near the level of this year’s most sexist ad — indeed, one of the most sexist ads I have ever seen.

1. “Prom (Worth It),” Audi

Have you ever wanted to sexually assault someone? Buy an Audi!

Yes, if you drive an Audi, it’s perfectly okay for you to march into prom, pick out a girl at random and kiss her whether she wants you to or not. It’s cool, you have an Audi! Oh, and if you do, you’re not going to get in trouble from her. Her boyfriend might punch you, though, because you’re stealing his stuff.

It’s hard even to snark at this ad. Its view of gender politics would have been outdated in the 1980s. I am gobsmacked that anyone, in 2013, could look at this ad and think it was anything other than appalling. At any rate, it’s pretty clear why this kid didn’t have a date for prom. No, not because he’s a bit of a geek; because he doesn’t actually view women as people.

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Morgan Williams W.
Megan Wilson4 years ago

Ugh, that Prom Night ad is terrible. The first time I saw it I was absolutely disgusted. What made it worse though, is the first time I ever saw it with my mom. Her response:
"Oh, that commercial is so cute!"
I turned to her with an incredulous look on his face.
"I mean, he just got to kiss the girl he likes, and got punched for it, and it's just so cute!"
How could any woman think it's cute?! And not be offended by it!
This planet makes no sense to me anymore

Duane B.
.4 years ago

Thank you for sharing.

Christine Jones
Christine J5 years ago

Didn't see this here in Australia, thank goodness. Watching these made me feel like I had gone through a time vortex back to the 1950's. Advertising people in the US should be ashamed to collect their pay cheques; don't they have any original or creative ideas?

Jonathan Y.
Jonathan Y5 years ago

Anyone see the 'brokeback Snickers' ad from a few superbowls ago? With the two mechanics munching a super-long Snickers and meeting in the middle, like Lady and the Tramp? Sexism sells, whether it's guys or goils.

Teresa Wlosowicz
Teresa W5 years ago

Vicky, this is outrageous, but Lebanon is an Arab country and I don't think we should follow their example.

Penny C.
penny C5 years ago

Did not see them.

Arild Warud

Not shown in Europe.

vicky t.
vicky T5 years ago

If you think those adds are sexist, you should listen to the ones I hear in Lebanon every freaking day:
"honeyyy, please, please, buy me this wonderful washing machine, it's all i want for valentine's day!
- Stop whining, dear, with that offer, i'm buying u a washing machine AND an oven, now come on, start cooking!
- thank you so much honey you're the best!!!"


Ram Reddy
Ram Reddy5 years ago


Thomas P.
Thomas P5 years ago

Thanks. Personally, I felt the Taco Bell commercial with all the old people getting in touch with their rebellious sides is one of the funniest commercials I've ever seen...absolutely hysterical!