Peugeot’s Girls Like Cars Too campaign, created in conjunction with OPEn (Peugeot’s creative agency), aimed to tackle years of stereotypes and gender inequality in the world of driving. The premise of the campaign, which was launched across France and Germany, is to allow girls to swap their Christmas gifts and toys for model cars, given that, as the name suggests, girls like to play with cars too. The aim of this is to encourage girls to see cars and driving as a more natural choice for play and later in life, thus leading to a more confident generation of female drivers.
While the message was clear and ostensibly based on a study which indicated that stereotypes which children are exposed to affect their later driving confidence in later life, this was not a popular campaign with our panel.
Any initiative whose success is predicated on taking toys away from children in large numbers certainly sounds suspect. It was pointed out that many girls, who may well enjoy playing with toy cars, may not want to give away their other toys, and what is the message that comes from this? That to be confident drivers girls cannot play with dolls? Toys are not a zero-sum game.
The criticism continued in this vein, with flaws pointed out from the small amount of toy cars given out, to the overt Peugeot branding on them. Is this likely to make these girls more confident drivers? Or just more likely to drive a Peugeot?
We did, however, have some fun in devising ways in which this campaign, which is at least tackling a real issue, could have done better. One such option would be to involve someone like Michèle Mouton, who, after joining the Peugeot rally team in 1985, became the first female driver to win a major championship in rallying. Surely an inspirational figure such as her is more like to inspire confidence and tackle gender stereotypes more effectively than toy cars.
Finally, it is hard to see how far this toy amnesty will go in tackling this issue, and even harder to see how that impact could possibly be measured.
Overall, we felt that this campaign lacks both impact and a genuine desire to make a difference, and smacks of a Christmas advert masquerading as a CSR initiative.
The Genuine Index Series 2 - 2023
Arsenal’s No More Red = 7.33
People Like Us Are Working = 6.7
Peugeot’s Girls Like Cars Too = -3.5
* -10.0 (Total BS & Corporate Wash) - 10.0 (Totally Genuine).
Our scores are an average of individual panel members’ individual scores.