Skip to comments.Audiís Gorewellian Super Bowl Ad
Posted on 02/10/2010 9:57:23 AM PST by Servant of the Cross
The ad is absurd, of course, but not nearly as absurd as Audi thinks
I watched the Super Bowl in the chilled air of the G.F.I.S.Z. (thats Goldberg Family Ice Station Zebra). Here in Washington, we havent seen this much snow since at least 1922. The blizzard of 2010 took out our electricity for a day. Digging out from snowmageddon was nothing less than an Augean challenge, though my lower back is, alas, less than Herculean. Meanwhile, snow canceled my daughters seventh birthday party Saturday and her school Monday. Were slated for another foot by Wednesday.
Suffice it to say Im not panicking about global warming right now.
Perhaps thats why I was bemused and intrigued by Audis Super Bowl ad.
Audis Green Police (available on YouTube) depicts an America where citizens are arrested roughly for even minor environmental infractions. A man at the supermarket asks for a plastic shopping bag and has his head slammed against the counter as hes cuffed by a Green Police officer. You picked the wrong day to mess with the ecosystem, plastic boy, quips the cop. When officers find a battery in the wrong suburban garbage bin, one big cop yells, Battery! Lets go! Take the house!
Its a fascinating commercial. They even got Cheap Trick to rerecord Dream Police as Green Police. But just as the satire becomes enjoyable, the message changes. Until the pitch for Audi intrudes, youd think it was a fun parody from a right-wing, free-market outfit about the pending dystopian environmental police state.
The pitch involves an eco roadblock. A man driving an Audi A3 TDI is singled out by an inspector. Weve got a TDI here, he says. Clean diesel, he adds approvingly.
Youre good to go, sir, the cops inform the driver. The smiling Audi owner accelerates to happiness on the open road. The screen fades to black and the tagline appears Green has never felt so right.
So, instead of some healthy dont-tread-on-me mockery, the moral of the story is that we should welcome our new green overlords and, if we know whats good for us, surrender to the New Green Order.
Some eco-bloggers disliked the ad because it reinforces the association of undemocratic statism and PC bullying with environmentalism. Perhaps thats why the New York Times dubbed it misguided.
Meanwhile, some conservatives didnt like it because it makes light of what they believe is actually happening. After all, in America and Europe the list of environmental crimes is growing at an almost exponential rate. The ad is absurd, of course, but not nearly as absurd as Audi thinks.
What was Audis intent? Presumably, to sell cars.
The ad only makes sense if its aimed at people who acknowledge the moral authority of the green police, writes Grist magazines David Roberts on the Huffington Post. The target audience, according to Roberts, is men who want to do the right thing. Hes certainly right that the ad isnt aimed at people (whom he childishly mocks as teabaggers) who worry that their liberties are being eroded.
But the message is hardly do the right thing.
To me, the target demographic is a certain subset of spineless, upscale white men (all the perps in the ad are affluent white guys) who just want to go with the flow. In that sense, the Audi ad has a lot in common with those execrable MasterCard commercials. Targeting the same demographic, those ads depicted hapless fathers being harangued by their children to get with the environmental program. MasterCards tagline: Helping Dad become a better man: Priceless.
The difference is that MasterCards ads were earnest, creepy, diabetes-inducing treacle. Audis ad not only fails to invest the greens with moral authority, it concedes that the carbon cops are out of control and power-hungry (in a postscript scene, the Green Police pull over real cops for using Styrofoam cups). But, because resistance is futile when it comes to the eco-Borg, you might as well get the best car you can.
It will be interesting to see whether the ad actually sells cars. The premise only works if you take it as a given that this Gorewellian nightmare is inevitable. But the commercials arrive at precisely the moment when that inevitability is unraveling like an old pair of hemp socks. The global-warming industry is imploding from scientific scandals, inconvenient weather, economic anxiety, and surging popular skepticism (according to a Pew Research Center survey released in January, global warming ranks 21st out of 21 in terms of the publics priorities).
This week, I dont want a car that will get past the Green Gestapo. Im looking for something that can power through the frozen tundra separating me from the supermarket.
I think the first environmental hazard the Green Police should encounter is lead poisoning.
volvo is what every liberal pos jerk wishes that they drove.
Most of the liberal profs that I had drove a volvo... or a saab.
I meant audi... I just met with my CPA and I am upset sorry.
I drive an Audi. 6 cyl, 5 valve quattro. And I’m not a liberal pos jerk.
The only heads that a are gonna' roll at that agency are gonna' roll into a bigger office, and earn a higher salary. If you don't understand what I just typed, then you don't understand advertising.
Unfortunately, I bet the greenies will attack diesels anyway. Mark my words.
Diesel engines are a major source of particulate and smog-forming pollution. Diesel exhaust is the most potent carcinogen (cancer-causing substance) in air pollution. And because diesel engines are so often operated where people live, play, work or go to school, they pose particular dangers to human health.
Diesel pollution is making us sick. Studies show that diesel pollution contains more than 40 air toxics including carcinogens and fine particulate matter. When inhaled, these air toxics have been known to trigger asthma and heart attacks. There is also evidence that diesel pollution causes cancer and respiratory diseases. That is why Environment Massachusetts has launched the Campaign To Clean Up Dirty Diesel.
Erm, it isn't an 'association.' They are arm-in-arm.
Or the Onion. :-)
That said, who did Audi think this ad appeals to? All I can figure is they wanted male master-of-the-universe types who are superficially liberal and very p.c., but they'll be darned if they're gonna sacrifice any of their toys or comfort to their faith. The ad tells them, hey, it's OK, you can still drive your Audi and run everyone else down with your aggressive driving; all you have to do is buy a diesel.
I knew about that. Human ingenuity, engineering, and the profit motive have given us an answer to energy independence and air pollution, but the greenies are not happy, just as they are opposed to nuclear power plants, which could do more for those objectives than all the wind turbines anyone ever planned.
Gorewelian .... I LOVE IT !!!
I will start using this term a lot.
Thanks Mr. Goldberg, that’s what you get paid the big bucks for.
Publicity, good or bad, and the remembering of an ad is good, no matter what?
Pretty much. I’m trying to think of exceptions, but any I think of don’t really apply in this case (condoning illegal behavior, violence, etc.).
The most important aspect of the ad was that it proved the volksgeist was ready and willing to mock environmental nazism. And a public willing to embrace mockery of this sort should be music to the ears of anyone who opposes environmental nazism.
Greenies don’t want solutions, they want control. This ad was pure theater of the absurd and some freepers aren’t getting it. That’s a shame.
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