‘We don’t see a problem’: Ultra Tune marketer argues ads empower women

The controversial ‘Unexpected Situations’ Ultra Tune ads – which have faced accusations of sexism, vilification and outrage-baiting – are actually empowering to women, the company has argued, with national marketing manager Rod Cedaro telling the Mumbrella Automotive Summit, “We don’t see a problem with the ads”.

Cedaro also hinted that John Cena, WWE star turned Hollywood actor, could front a new series of commercials for the brand.

Defending an ad where the Ultra Tune ‘Rubber Girls’ are stuck on the tracks in a car with a train quickly approaching, Cedaro told an audience at Mumbrella’s Automotive Summit, “The empowerment there was they [the women] actually were forward-thinking enough to actually exit the car”.

“We don’t see a problem with the ad, we get very very good cut through with the ads,” Cadero noted, drawing attention to the fact only one complaint to the Ad Standards Board was upheld and contending it was only “banned on a technicality”.

The “technicality” was the implication the women died once being hit by the train.

The ad was then re-cut to show the women walking away from the accident.

“Servicing a car isn’t the most engaging thing you could do and the fact that I am sitting here, talking to you about the ads and Kmart’s not, probably shows that we are getting a bit more cut through,” the national marketing manager noted.

“I don’t want to berate Kmart, but who remembers a Kmart ad versus Jean Claude Van Damme?

“All of our ads are designed to get cut through, are they controversial? Yes and no,” he continued.

Discussing another iteration of the Unexpected Situations campaign which features Jean Claude Van Damme coming to the rescue of two women facing the wrath of an aggressive gang of youths, Cadero said the idea behind the ad was “to build a degree of tension” and the women emerged empowered.

“The women were empowered by the fact that they are dressed up for a night out. If I was dressed like that I personally wouldn’t want to go and change a tyre myself.

“Who wants to get grease all over themselves dressed like that if you have been out for the night and you’ve got free road side assistance?” Cedaro said.

Cedaro disagreed with what he said is “a vocal minority” who complain and alledge the ads are sexist.

“The majority of the general population is sick of political correctness,” he said.

“Australia has gone crazy” with its political correctness, he said.

“The rebound to that is that people are looking at these ads – whilst some people may find them offensive or politically incorrect – the vast majority of the population is saying ‘Hey look this is a bit of fun, it’s tongue-in-cheek, we know that people aren’t going to be getting blown up and they are not going to get run over and we know that they’re not going to get mugged by the Asian gang, let’s have a bit of fun.”

“The fact our sales are increasing, it is having the desired effect”

Backing up his statements, Cedaro said first and foremost the ads are working and “having the desired effect”.

“You have got a choice and year-on-year 19% growth would suggest we are getting the cut through from the ads.

“I look at Ultra Tune these days as really a marketing company that happens to service cars.”

Cedaro wouldn’t give a definitive answer on who would be the next star of Ultra Tune’s new ads due out early next year, but when baited about whether WWE star John Cena was in the running he said: “John Cena hasn’t been signed yet but there has been discussions”.


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