Sunday, March 18, 2007

Erin Esurance

Feministe's "Shameless Self-Promotion Sunday" gives me the chance to ask a question that's been nagging me for awhile:

What's the feminist take on Erin Esurance? For those of you who don't watch TV (ever--she is on like all the time), Erin is the animated spokeswoman for Esurance, an online car insurance company. She appears in a variety of flash animated advertisements, pitching the company's "quote, buy, print" motto in secret-agent type settings. The ads are produced in-house, not by Madison Avenue, so that could explain why they aren't at least flagrantly sexist (in my opinion).

The ads have a male character in them (and various robot baddies), but he is definitely second-fiddle. Erin, for her part, is not cast in stereotypically feminine roles--she races cars, jumps out of buildings, and beats up on robot evildoers. Basically, she spends most of the ads kicking ass. Which is good.

On the other hand, she certainly is drawn in the stereotypical slender, White, pretty mold that virtually all female actresses on commercials have (even animated ones, apparently, though I doubt her figure is humanly possible even among the model-set). When I ran a google blogsearch to try and answer this question on my own, all I got was a bunch of male bloggers repeating how hot she was. Which might be an answer itself, but I suspect it merely proves that any normatively attractive woman in a public arena will find herself objectified. That's certainly not her fault (though Esurance is arguably exploiting that fact--they, of course, control the proportions of their animated characters).

So? What's the line?

13 comments:

PG said...

While I wouldn't purport to give The Feminist Take on Erin Esurance, I'm happy with the ads. If there's going to be only one woman in a given ad, I'm OK with her being white -- after all, the majority of the viewing audience usually is. I would find her more plausible if she were more obviously muscular, but I suppose that's difficult to draw without making her look like a female pro wrestler. It's not really plausible that someone who was overweight would be so active. Her bust looks large enough to potentially obstruct ass kicking, but oh well.

I'm less troubled by implausible bodies on cartoons, particularly those marketed toward adults. The weird Olsen-twin-like proportions on the Bratz dolls, plus their hookertastic taste in dress, does bother me given that they're marketed toward children.

Anonymous said...

It's a cartoon, make believe. Hey let's not forget
Eric here is also looking pretty fine!

Ms. Brewe from Esurance came up with
Erin. She herself is super strong, smart and funny.

Sure, I have to laugh when I see her build and
think, ya know it was men who drew her, ha!

All in all, I like Erin but let's remember it was Gwen
Stefani who 1st sported pink hair :)

JB

Anonymous said...

i think you're reading too much into erins body type. When it realy comes down to it she's abstract art, extenuating the feminine to get the point acorss that those shapes are indeed a woman. There are other women in the esurance adds you just have to goto their site (one is like 5 minutes long and seems more like a piloit). Anyways they're drawn the same way.

and i wont lie, Erin is hot and i may just be a little in love with her. But its not her body that realy draws guys in, i think more credit has to be given to her voice actress and the attitude she conveys in Erin

J.T. said...

I think we're all forgetting something. It's a cartoon in a 30 second ad to sell insurance. body type? c'mon! her hair is pink! Besides, it's not like they are any bald, chubby, hairy, male superheros out there. It's not sexism that makes them choose attractive woman for tv. It's sex appeal, and it works both ways. example: justin timberlake's career.

Anonymous said...

Who the hell cares if Erin is skinny and looks a little hollywood-it is a cartoon charachter. Of course Esurance isn't going to have a fat, ugly looking woman on their commercials....this isn't an ad for Jenny Craig. People who complain about the media promoting thin women need to stop feeling sorry for themselves and get off their fat butt and exercise. So I guess since we are the fatest nation we should be proud of it....just disgusting.

Anonymous said...

erin is seriously fine. the pink hair, the beautiful ass, the perfect face... i wish she were real, it would help with the masturbatory fantasies. she is certainly the most attractive cartoon character ive ever seen, even though relatively crudely drawn. as for the feminist perspective, i dont really care, im not a feminist. but i believe women are just as good as men, and i love them, so more power to 'em. but erin, god i hope the esurance animators have some hot naked images they made for fun and leaked online that i can find, i just came on here after seeing another commercial and searched to see if any other guys share my love for this spokesdrawing.

Anonymous said...

I'm not a feminist, nor do I play one on TV. That said, it's difficult to imagine anyone offering major feminist objections to Erin Esurance. Her character is intelligent, strong, and self-sufficient. The fact that she has a beautiful face with an insanely hot body is just icing on the cake.
-- Dean

Anonymous said...

Why are you so hung up on the fact that she's white? The mainstream audience wants that. I know I wouldn't pay as much attention if she was a tar baby.

Crabs&Cancer said...

What's wrong with you that you need to ask others about how YOU feel about something? Why do you feel like you need to align your own personal views with some group or another? Don't you have a brain? Don't you have an opinion? Just say what you feel and be done with it... Your little entry sounds so weak and soft... pleading for some un-spoken truth from people that don't have it. Go form your own opinions and stop being sheep.

Anonymous said...

Hi I liked your blog. I have been looking for a company which would specialize in servicing and sales of a diverse line of auto insurance products for quite a long time. I browsed the net for some useful info. And decided to go to Esurance. However, before going there I should have checked it out on this great site www.pissedconsumer.com to avoid possible misunderstandings. There people share their bitter experience with different companies.

Anonymous said...

Erin's body type and construction is itself a characiture of the femme' fatale as are now most often depicted in modern spy, action and adventure roles. Think of James Bond movies of the sixties, then compare that with woman depicted in such films as "Resident Evil." So, Erin's admitted superhotness is both an omage to the progress that Hollywood has made depicting woman as strong and independent while at the same time, in a way, pokes fun at their superhero type spy antics. Of course, the real reason from esurance's point of view is simply the two cardinal rules of advertising: sex sells (so here mostly to men) and people want to identify with the primary subject of their "movie." The idea is that woman who watch the commercials will want to identify with that character more if she is attractive, because we all in fantasy want to be that attractive. Frankly, however, I must admit that I ran across this discussion while searching for naked cartoon pics of that strangely erotic cartoon in a moment of juvenile sexual contemplation.

Anonymous said...

Once Again,,,Erin Is SUPER HHHOT !!! Also,,,To P.G.,,,You Are Really A Major ASSHOLE To Depict Most White People Watch T.V.... What Color Are You Ya Fu*kin; Moron ??? Obviously,,,You Watch A REAL Lot Of Television To Notice Her...Think About IT Ya Fy*kin'Idiot,,,ASSHOLE,,,MORON... No Wait,,, You're LESS-OFF Than A MORE-ON... From JOHNNY KELLY...

Anonymous said...

Her labia make me so hot