The Dodge Fairy was a commercial mascot for the Dodge Caliber automobile produced by DaimlerChrysler in Detroit, Michigan. She appeared in “Too Tough” a TV spot that aired in 2006.
In the commercial, a beautiful strawberry-blond fairy wielding a wand flies through the skyline of a metropolitan area seeking to make things a bit cuter. At first, she points at a high-rise building and a shower of pixie dust from her magic wand morphs the concrete and steel structure into a giant gingerbread house with a cherry on top.
Next, she blasts a passing subway train with pixie dust and transforms the subway cars into a “softer” and cuter green-and-yellow toy choo-choo train. Seeking more things to enchant, she spies a black Dodge Caliber driving by.
Giving chase, the fairy quickly zaps the car 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, “Heh, Heh, 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 the rude ruffians black wardrobe to yellow pastels. His tough-looking dog, in turn, becomes four prissy Pomeranians collared with pink leashes. The ad’s voice-over tagline proclaims: “Introducing the all-new Dodge Caliber. It’s anything but cute.”
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 emasculation through homosexuality. Only the drivers of Dodge Calibers can be safe in this dangerous world filled with faeries 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?” He was simply given a makeover to remove his machismo.
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.”
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