Adwatch: Vauxhall challenges stereotypes with 'pyjama mamas' campaign

Vauxhall's "pyjama mamas" ad is not only rebellious, but also sexy and glamorous, writes Y&R London's chief strategy officer.

My head is swirling with the complexities of cars, class, culture and feminism.

And all because of the Vauxhall Crossland ad. It’s so full of contradiction, irony and paradox, it almost defies strategic analysis.

Ostensibly, it’s mums delivering kids to school and generally hanging out in their pyjamas, beautifully leveraging the cultural opportunity surrounding mothers being banned from the school gates in PJs.

But this is no "I’m ‘avin a fag" pastiche. Yes, it’s rebellious. It’s also sexy and glamorous. And it challenges and re-writes our thinking on so many levels. And if any car brand needs to re-write the way we think about them, it’s Vauxhall.

Recall (prompted advertising awareness)

Tv ads launching 29th may - 2nd july 2017

It takes the stereotype of women as primary caregivers dropping the kids off at school and transforms them into archetypal cocky, confident drivers – only with less Top Gear testosterone and more catwalk swagger.

It gloriously sticks two fingers up to all those smug school-run yummy mummies, giving Vauxhall a seditious, recalcitrant bad boy (girl?) image you wouldn’t think possible.


Tv ads launching 29th may - 2nd july 2017

It’s everything you’d expect from Mother – a ballsy, challenging strategy that sits slightly uncomfortably with the middle-class mums it’s aimed at. But it’s sure to create conversation and get us all questioning the age-old perceptions of this middle of the road brand.  Who knows, it may even create a new fashion.

It might take time for such a break from the past to bed in and become synonymous with the brand.  But if the team at Vauxhall can continue to challenge stereotyping on so many levels, they’ll carve out a strong space.

Now, where are my pyjamas?

The Adwatch research surveys 1,000 adults aged 16 to 64. 

With Thanks To

Emily James is chief strategy officer at Y&R London 

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