The Chariot and the Palanquin: Car ownership and gender needs in India and China

Saurabh Sharma
Ogilvy & Mather

Hair clips, leftover food from yesterday's trip to McDonald's, lip balm, broken hair dryer, dirty laundry, two extra pairs of shoes, last year's wall calendar, cuddly toys, wrapping paper for gifts – the list goes on and only becomes more unusual; you see these things in a car and you know that the driver is a woman.

Contrast this with a high-definition car stereo system and speakers that match, a certain car perfume, no additional fitments inside the car other than those outside (an extra spoiler, collar for the silencer and stickers that match the color of the car), and similar stuff that makes the car look like a potent metal carriage that moves around – you see these and you know that the driver is a man.

What do these two examples show? What do things in a car say about the driver?