Caliber Fairy - Beautiful strawberry-blond fairy
featured in DaimlerChrysler's "Too Tough" TV spot aired in 2006. In the
commercial, a wand-wielding fairy flies through the skyline of a metropolitan
area seeking to make things a bit cuter. Approaching a tall building, the fairy
points her magic wand as a shower of pixie dust morphs the concrete and steel
structure into a giant gingerbread house. Nearby, a train passes and the fairy
again points her wand as a blast of pixie dust turns the train into "softer" and
cuter green-and-yellow toy choo-choo train. Happy with her work, the fairy seeks
out more things to enchant.
As she spies a Dodge Caliber driving by, the fairy quickly gives chase and zaps
it with a spray of pixie dust, but to her surprise. the magic has no effect on
the vehicle. Frustrated, she tries again and again with no result until finally
her pixie dust blast is deflected back at her. The resulting blast sends her
body slamming into the side of building. Slowly, her body slides down the wall
and rests on the sidewalk. Just then, an insensitive tough guy walking a large
black dog mocks the fairy's predicament saying "Silly little fairy."
In retaliation, the fairy points her wand at the man (as if to say, "I'll show
you who's a silly little fairy" and changes his wardrobe from a black costumed
ruffian to a pastel-clad male wearing a tennis sweater and shorts. His dog, in
turn, becomes four prissy Pomeranians collared with pink leashes. The ad's
tagline read: "Introducing the all-new Dodge Caliber. It's anything but cute."
Fairy turns building into gingerbread
Fairy sees a Dodge Caliber pass by
Fairy zaps Dodge Caliber
Fairy smashes into wall
Rude ruffian mocks fallen fairy
Fairy transforms ruffian
The TV spot was one of five Caliber commercials to introduce the 2007 four-door
hatchback to the public. Produced by the Detroit office of BBDO Worldwide, part
of Omnicom Group Inc., the ad targeted single 25-to 35-year-olds and was
featured on TV, print ads, and online games.
However, not everybody found the "Too Tough" fairy spot entertaining. An online
ad review at the Commercial Closet, a website that monitors gay and lesbian
depiction in advertising, stated "It directly finds humor with the term fairy,
referring not just to the type that flies around with a magic wand, but also the
universally recognizable gay stereotype of an effeminate gay man."
One site visitor from Evanston, Illinois explained "Thus, to drive the Dodge
Caliber is to be protected from the feminine, which is "cute," and the injury,
which is emasculization through homosexuality. Only the drivers of Dodge
Calibers can be safe in this dangerous world filled with fairies and fairies."
Suraya Bliss, a spokesperson at DaimlerChrysler denied the commercial plays on
gay stereotypes and pointed out that the theme of the commercial was changing
"tough" things to softer things so "Why would you assume just because the guy is
wearing shorts and walking small dogs that he's gay?"
She continued "We were pretty surprised that there are individuals that are
making the conclusion that sexual orientation can be determined by the type of
clothes you wear and the type of dog that you're walking."