What could make a guy drive slower? Redefine manhood, that’s what.
A new ad campaign launched in New Zealand asks men to drive with “mantrol,” an extension of the cool, unruffled way guys do other masculine things—like hunting, fencing and barbecuing.
The commercials features a guy strolling casually and confidently through a series of rooms in “mandom” filled with men doing manly activities … until he ends in a room with a crashed car.
The fate of mandom is uncertain. There is one thing we haven’t mastered control over yet. That’s our driving. We’re good but not great. And if we’re not in full control of such a manly thing then what does all of this mean?
Man driving is realizing what we don’t control. The road or the beams, hills, the corners, the rain. It’s knowing when to pull back and slow down. It’s us staying in control. What we like to call mantrol.
It’s a deliberate jab at the male psyche: an upscale way of calling chicken on masculinity. Plus, it’s a subtler alternative to numbing shock ads that spray the gory consequences across the screen.
“It’s very deliberate in taking a different approach,” said spokesperson Andy Knackstedt. “We need to get the message through that part of being a guy driver means staying in control”
It’s a smart move for a country where nearly 80 percent of speed related traffic incidents involve men at the wheel. And of course, New Zealand isn’t alone. Across the board, men have proven to be the riskier ones at the wheel. (Here at GMPM we’ve written about that and also discovered that driving slower actually means less time on the road.)
With the commercial just launched today, it remains to be seen whether this appeal to mens’ need for control will be effective. What do you all think, dear readers? Would this be enough to make you put on the brakes?