TV3’s Funny Girls is making fun of the fact that very few female farmers feature in mainstream Kiwi car advertising.
During Friday night’s episode of the hilarious sketch series, the local comedy show featured a spoof TV commercial of comedian Rose Matafeo driving a Holden ute.
The clip, which begins with a Holden Colorado ute crossing a paddock, features a running dialogue between Matafeo and the mysterious Holden voice-over man.
The male voice even asks Matafeo if “she’s a farmer’s widow” and inherited her farm – and ute – off her dead husband.
“Sorry love, just didn’t expect to see a woman. You don’t usually see women in these types of ads,” he added.
On Monday afternoon, the official New Zealand Farming Facebook page shared the clip, alongside the caption: “The reason truck commercials don’t have more women in them. Go check out the Funny Girls page for more absolute gold.”
Holden NZ’s general manager of corporate affairs, Ed Finn, described the skit as “flattering” when contacted on Wednesday afternoon.
“We’re going through something of a brand rejuvenation at the moment,” he said.
“Holden is moving away from that gender stereotyping. We’re moving toward a (broader market). I think it’s about moving with the times, we’re much more than just utes, we do a lot of small cars.”
Finn said that while Holden’s previous ad campaigns have certainly resonated with a particular rural male customer, Holden as a brand “can’t be pigeon-holed.”
“It’s not so much targeted advertising towards a particular sector, and we don’t ‘target women’, perse, but we’ve got a lot of different models.”
Holden’s most recent campaign is a reflection of this, he said. The TV commercial was shot in the Coromandel town of Thames, and “has a city-skewed, self-deprecating sense of humour.”
When asked if Kiwis can expect a female behind the wheel in Holden’s next ute TV commercial, Finn said that the idea is perhaps “a bit too niche” for right now.
“In the same breath, I don’t think it’s left field. (But) that’s not to say never.”
The Funny Girls clip has since prompted an open debate across social media, with NZ Farming adding that “it’s odd that people still get hung up on this.”
“Try being a female (fertiliser) truck driver … some of the looks I’ve got the first time I’ve been on farms,” commented one Facebook user.
“Women are just as good drivers or better than men,” added another. “I would give any guy a challenge to back a trailer or drive them over high-country farm.”
TV3 declined to comment when contacted on Wednesday.