Cosmopolitan and Seat's purple car 'for women' featuring eyeliner headlights provokes backlash
A "sophisticated, feminine and chic" compact car targeted towards women has been launched as part of a partnership between Seat and Cosmopolitan.
The Seat Mii buy Cosmopolitan
With eyeliner headlights – "emphasised in the same way as make-up emphasises the eye" nonetheless, "jewelled, bi-colour alloy wheels," and a "design that reflects a bold, audacious, lifestyle" the components of the model have been designed to work "in harmony to offer a surprise sparkle," according to a press release from Seat.
The popular publisher and the Spanish car brand have created a "fun and fearless" car tailored towards the publication’s audience, or the "Cosmo Girl".
The Seat Mii by Cosmopolitan was developed as part of an 18-month collaboration between the brand’s global creative team, and the publisher's regional editors with help from readers across the UK and Europe. Reader surveys, product testing and more were used to design the final product, which the company has described as an "aesthetically pleasing car with personality."
Seat’s global marketing director, Susanne Franz said the car is "easy to use" and "adapts to today’s lifestyle".
"Not only did we strive to create an elegant car, it is designed to be a bold, personal ally for the driver, with amazing solutions that are functional and intuitive," she added.
True to form, the car was debuted last week during #FashFest with a social media campaign titled #ThisIsMii.
— Merrick Cassanova (@Mcassanova) September 16, 2016
— SEAT UK (@SEAT_cars_UK) September 15, 2016
The launch of the model has courted a backlash among Twitter users, who disagreed that the car was actually 'Mii'.
— Kat Knight (@katkni) September 20, 2016
— Clair (@magenta_witch) September 19, 2016
— Steph Siddall (@stephsiddall) September 16, 2016
— lawrenceweber (@lawrenceweber) September 16, 2016
— Hannah Walker (@bananhan) September 16, 2016
— Collette (@brandbycollette) September 16, 2016
When you make a 'car for women'. And it's pathetically underpowered, but it is PURPLE.https://t.co/Ik961DlwCI
— *Cynically* (@PhilippaDunjay) September 16, 2016
Jo Davies, chief executive of independent creative agency of ZAK condemmed the campaign: "This is outrageously poor of Cosmo for getting involved, I’d expect them to understand their audience better than that. Some models and marques will appeal to women more than others. But that is a whole world away from a car designed for women. It’s not dissimilar from Victoria Beckham getting involved (allegedly) in Land Rover Evoque interior design resulting in a special model with quilted leather seats. However, Land Rover did it in a more astute way of appealing to women without handling it patronisingly 'for women' and the fact that Beckham was involved piqued the interest of the intended audience of that particular model.
"This move only goes to highlight that the ad industry still has far to go to stamp out the age-old gender stereotypes and the need for more women to be at the decision-making helm. I’d love to see what this model has that most cars don’t – a big central rear view mirror with lightbulbs around it especially for applying make-up at green lights? God forbid.”
For those who have been long awaiting an automobile designed for "confident, independent, active young women who are really going places," the Cosmopolitan Mii will be primed for sale early in 2017.
It will be available in two colours, Violetto and Candy White.