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Rather unusually, this advertisement does not appeal to emotion. It does not suggest that a mother and her children are part of a perfect family road trip. Instead, it is an appeal to practicality. The mother is depicted here as pregnant—humorously, the mother of "2.8 children." This image of womanhood is one that links the utility of the minivan to the work of mothering. Motherhood and the Volkswagen van seem to go hand in hand. Volkswagen owners "think of their wagons (and themselves) as something special," the ad tells us; The ideal mother and the ideal vehicle work together to create the ideal household.
Like the dog and the young boy with his baseball glove, The Mother here is presented as an essential part of an American family. She is part of the anatomy of the male driver's ideal lifestyle, as much as she is a part of the "Anatomy of a Gremlin." This idyllic family scene emphasizes the practicality of the car for a small family, while defining roles for the members of that family. The wife is a passenger, glancing adoringly at her husband in over-the-top mirth. AMC thus attempts to design the family just as it has designed its Gremlin, by prescribing a traditional patriarchal family structure.
It is not exactly clear what is taking place in this advertisement for the second-generation Chevrolet Nova. We see a family who appear to be on a road trip. While the father appears to be handing the child a dollar bill, perhaps for a snack or a toy to get him through the drive, the mother remains seated in the front seat, frustrated or bored. This is an unusual family scene for a car advertisement, but it nonetheless fits into the trope of The Mother. Though the mother is not completing any care work herself, her child appears to be a source of vexation. Thus, for the stressed mother, the advertisement suggests, this car is the solution. The scene is confusing, but it is still an example of a car being presented as a tool to aid in motherhood.