When the pop song “Stacy’s Mom” was used in a 2005 commercial, the ironic star of the ad — the one who’s “got it goin’ on” — was a frumpy suburban type, in a baggy cardigan and mom jeans, who enthralls preteen boys with her minivan stocked with chilled Dr Pepper.
The song reappeared last fall, this time with the female protagonist, played by French model Magali Amadei, dressed for the office in slacks and a blazer, dropping “Stacy” off at school on the way to work. The dorky dads at the scene are captivated, not by the mom so much as her Cadillac SRX, and its power rear liftgate.
The song is the same, and the setup similar. But the newer ad represented a first for Cadillac’s mainstream advertising: a woman clearly depicted as a professional, in the driver’s seat of a luxury vehicle.
Even in the 2010s, says Sherrie Weitzman, the SRX’s advertising manager, that’s not a common image. Cadillac’s ads going back to the 1960s, Weitzman says, are rich with portrayals of women as “an accessory to the vehicle,” seated in the passenger seat alongside a successful male, or presented as eye candy. At other brands, car ads aimed at women typically cast them solely as family chauffeurs rather than working moms or professionals.