The lure of Smart Cars.
How to analyze gender and diversity in visual car branding.
Associate Professor Hilda Rømer Christensen has contributed to the publication 'Gender and Equality in Transport - Proceedings of the 2021 Travel Demand Management Symposium', with the article 'The lure of Smart Cars. How to analyze gender and diversity in visual car branding' together with Louise Anker Nexø and Stine Pedersen.
Currently Europe regards itself as a leading part in the global race towards smart automated transport. According to ERTRAC, European Road Transport Research Advisory Council, automated driving innovation is motivated by both technological advancements as well as social goals of equality.
This paper shows how such perspectives of technology and social goals of equality are carved out and handled in visual e-marketing strategies by a couple of high end car producers. Using visual analysis, a range of YOUtube videos from car producers such as Volvo and BMW are scrutinized with a focus on representations of gender, class, and ethnicity.
The visual representations in the promotional videos show that the car companies try to maintain their own unique profile and brand including a blend of social, gendered, and national and regional characteristics in the intensified competition at the global car market. Both Volvo and BMW use e-marketing in a broader effort of mobilization of memories, feelings, and identities in favor of energy saving; yet they still promote a car centric society as a signpost for modern society and smart middle class mobility.
Christensen, Hilda Rømer, Nexø, Louise Anker and Pedersen, Stine (2021) 'The lure of Smart Cars. How to analyze gender and diversity in visual car branding' in Leva et al. 'Gender and Equality in Transport. Proceedings of the 2021 Travel Demand Management Symposium', 2021, Proceedings 11, pp. 111-123.
The entire publication and the article is available as open access provided by the Technological University Dublin at: https://arrow.tudublin.ie/schfsehbk.