February 8, 2010

There are so many levels to that "green police" Audi green car ad.

Some people think this Audi ad was the best of the Super Bowl ads. It's the one we had the longest conversation about:



At the time I said: How is that supposed to be an ad for the car? It's an ad against environmentalists. Doesn't that make people want to get a big old SUV?

I guess the ad is for more timid, appeasing types. They're thinking: Everybody's always on my case about ridiculous environmental crap. If I drive an obviously green car, it will establish my good standing in the community as a fellow environmentalist and then I can be free — in private — to enjoy my incandescent light, hot tub, etc. etc.

So the Audi A3 TDI... it's the green car for people who care not about the environment but about what other people think of them. Except they've seen the commercial too, and maybe they think you're driving that car because you like mocking them.

Or maybe they are a step ahead and they're laughing because they love the success of roping people — people who actually hate them — into their agenda.

But the guy that hates them can be thinking: Ha! You know I'm saying I hate you and you know you have to act like you love it.

Ad infinitum.

137 comments:

lyssalovelyredhead said...

I was really confused by it. At first I thought that it was making fun of green-police, but then, by ending with a pro-green message, I was left with the impression that they were PRO-Green-Police.

I didn't get any message that all these green restrictions were actually a bad thing.

Michael said...

It pissed me off. Here they were making fun of greenies, sort of, and then selling us, what, a green car. I wanted a Hummer at that moment to run over the smug yuppies throwing that kind of money at symbolism.

Shanna said...

I was really confused by it. At first I thought that it was making fun of green-police, but then, by ending with a pro-green message, I was left with the impression that they were PRO-Green-Police.

Yeah, it was odd. And the thing was, I was really enjoying it because I thought they were poking fun...but then they tried to sell me something "green". So...?

cokaygne said...

I don't know nuthin' about the car, but if it is 'green' it is the perfect buy for the successful macho lawyer suffering a midlife crisis. His kids are being brainwashed at school and nagging him mercilessly about his wasteful habits. You know, this guy probably leaves the water running while he shaves.

He can redeem himself in his children's eyes by buying this car. It's 'green' and it's cool. Won't their peers be so impressed. Then he can take the boss's gorgeous young secretary out to lunch at a cozy place in the country. Won't her peers in the office be impressed as she steps out of that sleek machine.

The guy's wife, what about her? She's got the Prius. If the guy is fortunate, the brakes will fail as she's driving down that mountain road to the supermarket.

Just sayin'

Mr. Forward said...

Audi's alright, Audi's alright, they just seem a little weird.

Dogwood said...

I thought they were mocking the trivialities that pass as green and those who wish to enforce such trivialities on the rest of us by force.

Whereas the car simply states, if you want to be serious about the environment, this is the car for you, and no one is going to force you to buy it.

Franco said...

I cannot understand this commercial, and even after Ann's cogent explanation remain confused. I look forward to reading more comments - the many perspectives will help me me flesh this thing out

Was this ad conceived/written/greenlighted by folks who don't see that our society is fast moving towards totalitarian conformity? In Europe, they are already quite close to this. They have helicopters flying over houses monitoring energy use. You can be fined for putting the wrong things in your recycling bins.

Here we have kids being taken away in handcuffs for doodling on desks, where otherwise model citizens are fined for jaywalking when they've been struck by a government SUV. The ad set me on edge. I didn't like the "green police" despite the lighthearted nature of the music and depiction. So when the Audi driver gets preferential treatment, well, I wouldn't want to be that guy. Doesn't this run counter to basic advertising principle?

The last bit gives me another clue/conundrum, where they arrest a cop for using styrofoam. We are supposed to enjoy that part, I think. But if we enjoyed that part, why would we enjoy the other parts?

Were they saying that being green and driving the Audi, is the ultimate in being elite? ( I think I may be getting close)

edutcher said...

Ann said...

it's the green car for people who care not about the environment but about what other people think of them.

You broke the code. A lot of PC stands taken by people are for ego gratification and notice.

It's a little like nude beaches. They exist not so much because people can't find anyplace else to sunbathe naked, it's because some people want other people to see them sunbathing naked.

raf said...

When I saw it, my reaction was to wonder how many people were identifying with the ecocops."Yeah, let's DO this!" But then, I have had a lifetime of increasing cynicism to perfect my reactions.

wv: prepi. The kind of folks the ad is aimed at. Or at least the wannabes.

Pogo said...

The commercial badly misunderstands the American spirit.

In this nation, where everyone is guilty of something, the appropriate response to hyper-intrusion by the state is defiance. (Hence the TEA party and the WHO singing 'won't get fooled again') That commercial would have been a winner.

This one would have been better for the might-as-well-bend-over-it's-for-our-own-good mass of servile subjects in England.

Taco said...

I generally don't like it when they use songs I like in commercials. The HP use of the Kinks "Picture Book" was particularly grating. But for some reason, I was happy to hear Cheap Trick in a Super Bowl ad, especially Dream Police. Though I think if it was Surrender I would have been irritated. Maybe I don't take Dream Police as seriously? It reminds me of the scene in Fastimes at Richmond High when the scalper is trying to sell kids Cheap Trick tickets, right before Jennifer Jason Leigh tells him she is pregnant. There's nothing wrong with Cheap Trick.

Fred4Pres said...

That was a funny ad. I am not sure it helps sell Audis. But I enjoyed it and want to see it again.

Fred4Pres said...

Cheap Trick. A band that was a bit of a joke when it was kinda big. Perfect for parody.

For that harder edge, I suppose it is only a matter of time till they use the Dead Kennedys, say California Uber Alles for an ad campaign.

Pogo said...

A successful ad (as opposed to a viral video) should at a minimum sell the product.

It made me want to kick Audi in its shrunken balls.

DaveW said...

This is something my wife and I have enjoyed analyzing and laughing about for years. The ads, who they are aimed at, what are they trying to communicate, etc.

This ad at least succeeds in getting the product to stick in the consumer's mind, which is the most important function of advertising. The green police, the weirdness, all of that confusion actually draws your attention to the ad.

I can't say that about most of the ads yesterday. I don't remember what any of the men-in-underwear ads were trying to sell. I've been reminded today by reading about them but without that, nope.

The ads have been weak for at least 2 years now. My wife usually records the game just to go back and watch the ads but yesterday she turned off the recorder sometime in the 2nd quarter. They were just lame, unfunny, some were borderline offensive.

They used to be very creative and funny. One of my all time favorites came just a couple years ago, some guy sitting around alone with his laptop in an airport, separated from his peers because he suffered from 'connectile dysfunction'. I still get a smile thinking about that one.

DaveW said...

Here's that connectile dysfunction ad. We thought that one was hilarious.

Theo Boehm said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
EDH said...

The message is you can have all the advantages of "luxury performance" while varroooming past the opprobrium and compromise.

Importantly, remember the Cheap Trick lyrics say "The Dream Police live inside of my head... Those men inside my brain."

Likewise, I think the "Green Police" are supposed to be part of our subconscious that "live inside of our heads" as the result of all the indoctrination and scolding we've been subjected to.

The ad diplomatically doesn't pass explicit judgment on whether that's right or wrong, good or bad. (Although, since Audi still produces a full line of traditional performance vehicles, it does seem the extremism of the Green Police is being mocked.)

A few thoughts:

Instead of $37.08, the "Plastic Boy's" shopping total should have been $39.68 ($19.84 x 2).

Are anteaters more eco-friendly than dogs?

I found the Malcom Gladwell guy in the hot tub running around the pool like a little girl being chased by the Green Police very funny for some reason.

I think the "real" police being subjected to the green police is to exonerate "real" law enforcement from the parody.

Some of the male green police are wearing shorts.

In all, I think the ad was well done, best of the litter.

Mian said...

I was disturbed by the ad, especially the fact that Audi -- which has a rich history of collaboration with the nazis and a participatory role in the Third Reich and the Holocaust (slave labor)--would be so utterly tone- deaf as to think it humorous. Now I surf a bit and see that there's actually a lot of back-story that should embarrass Audi:
http://www.deathcamps.org/Reinhard/orpo.html

"Green Police" indeed.

spongeworthy said...

The ad made me want to punch somebody in the face. I'm glad I read these comments for perspective--somebody coulda' gotten hurt (me).

Cheap Trick was never taken seriously. Their plight was at one time a B-school case in marketing class--they were huge in the Orient but only middling here. I suspect it was the name.

The fat guy with the silly hat was no joke as a guitar player.

Hoosier Daddy said...

I was disturbed by the ad, especially the fact that Audi -- which has a rich history of collaboration with the nazis and a participatory role in the Third Reich and the Holocaust (slave labor)--would be so utterly tone- deaf as to think it humorous.

Yeah but bring out the Geheime Staatspolizei to save the planet is a much more noble cause so its ok.

And gratz to Beth and her Saints. They definitely were the better team last night. I'm asking Caldwell if next year we can get a defense that includes DBs who can actually cover a reciever.

Bart DePalma said...

The appalling thing about this ad is that Audi was serious. This is the unvarnished totalitarian mentality of the green movement. I am just amazed that Audi was so honest in its portrayal.

Hoosier Daddy said...

This is the unvarnished totalitarian mentality of the green movement. I am just amazed that Audi was so honest in its portrayal.

Why? They're already doing some of this kind of stuff (inspecting garbage bins) in Europe and we know progressive they are.

MaggotAtBroad&Wall said...

My reaction was similar to Franco's. It may be outdated, but I think most Americans like to cling to the idea we are still a nation that values "rugged individualism". I'm not sure a message depicting the loss of that identity to environmental totalitarianism squares with most Americans.

Der Hahn said...

One for the 'all humor is conservative' file.

I'm willing to bet that the pitch for this ad included a number of very earnest statements about how it was intended to mock those who see environmental regulations as a jackboot descending on America, and it turned out to be a pretty accurate depiction of the enviro-ninnies as mall cops and wanna-be tough guys.

It’ll probably boost Audi sales just because people will think the sarcasm was intentional.

Dogwood said...

I'm not sure a message depicting the loss of that identity to environmental totalitarianism squares with most Americans.

I didn't interpret the ad as promoting totalitarianism so much as mocking those who go down that road.

Florida said...

"So the Audi A3 TDI... it's the green car for people who care not about the environment but about what other people think of them."

You mean pussies.

Right?

How is it good for Audi to have their car associated with a bunch of pansies?

Worst. Ad. Of. The. Super. Bowl.

traditionalguy said...

That ad is a blatant attempt to use shame. In a sly way it pretends to be laughing as it makes its point that the elite are exempted from the laws for the people uneducated about how many CO2 molecule dance on the head of a pin in the Church of GreenNazis theology. Crack can now comment on the first Cult automobile.

Pogo said...

Audi should name that car Capitulator.

TRO said...

The only folks buying an Audi based on this commercial will be those who are trying to trade in their crappy Priuses (or is it Prii?)

Skyler said...

I don't know which is worse: That Audi thougth that Americans would think that a pushy, intrusive police force intruding on our privacy is a good thing, or that there are probably a whole lot of enviro-whacko nut job Americans that are saying, "yeah, that's what we need!"

I like Audi. I think ever since Piƫch took over they've been making great cars. But this ad would certainly not make me want to buy one any time soon. I think they've confused us with someone else.

Jim said...

I agree with Michael...

If it was an ad about making fun of greenie nonsense, then it should have been an ad for a gas guzzler.

If it was an ad about a green car, then why mock everyone who cared about buying a green car?

The only discussion in my house about the ad was: WTF were they thinking? Is that supposed to make us want to buy this car?

This strategy of thinking an ad is successful just because it gets people talking about you ignores the reality of marketing. It brings to mind Carly Fiorina's "Demon Sheep" ad which immediately became a fundraising hit...for Tom Campbell.

I'll give you that a lot of people are talking about the Audi ad, but very few of them are talking about it because it made them think well about either the car itself or Audi as a whole.

Skyler said...

I didn't interpret the ad as promoting totalitarianism so much as mocking those who go down that road.

I would agree with you if the ad were for a Hummer or other gas guzzler. But since they then trumpet that their car is the one the green jackboots most admire, then it hardly seems that it could be sarcasm.

It's not sarcasm. It's an exaggerated presentation of the ideal -- to them, anyway.

Skyler said...

Anybody have a theory as to why there's an anteater at the car stop?

EDH said...

Anybody have a theory as to why there's an anteater at the car stop?

All I can think of is they might obviate the need for pesticides and they don't eat cattle meat like dogs.

Florida said...

"The only folks buying an Audi based on this commercial will be those who are trying to trade in their crappy Priuses (or is it Prii?)"

You can't trade in a Prius.

Every time you try to pull up to the dealership, you just sail right by.

Ba-dump-bump.

FloridaSteve said...

Saw it last night and before I cold stop myself I yealled Go F### yourselves at the TV. All it did was make me very angry. I somehow doubt that's what they were going for.

MadisonMan said...

I didn't think it was a good ad. Conflicted message.

raf said...

@Hoosier Daddy: Do not despair. As far as I am concerned, Purdue just won the Super Bowl.

Original Mike said...

That ad scared the crap out of me. I saw our future and was afraid.

Sixty Grit said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Glen said...

The only people arrested are men.
White men.

Tibore said...

"lyssalovelyredhead said...
I was really confused by it. At first I thought that it was making fun of green-police, but then, by ending with a pro-green message, I was left with the impression that they were PRO-Green-Police.

I didn't get any message that all these green restrictions were actually a bad thing."


Yes, this. It seemed to say "Jackboot facism in the name of the environment is good". I was surprised Audi went there; they were surprisingly tone deaf in that commercial. And all this after I was happy at the idea that Audi was trying to get a clean diesel going in the US; it may not be the prettiest Audi (they really need to do a non-hatchback version i.e. put that engine in the A4), but at least it's not that damn "Hey-look-at-me-I-feel-superior-because-this-car-is-obviously-so-green" Prius. Talk about killing the talk about your product; it was stupid in the extreme.

EDH said...

I don't think the ad is intended to instill guilt.

If anything, it mocks the seriousness and proportionality of the enviro-guilt that exists.

Again, most of Audi's market share is a full line of traditional high performance luxury vehicles, and they are not stupid. The tone is frivolity, not dead polar bears.

What the ad does say is if you are one of those people suffering guilt because you've bought into or capitulated to the Green Police, at least ostensibly because of your status or friends, but still desire luxury performance, we have a car for you.

Remember, this ad was a NYC ad agency concept before it was approved by Audi.

Of course, an ad can be too clever by half if the viewer doesn't peel all the necessary layers to get to the "true" message that's been explained by the ad agency to the client in the pitch, and it instead leads the disinterest observer down a different path.

Paddy O. said...

The Audi ad is thought of as one of the best? Really?

I thought it was creative, but barely effective. For life in a totalitarian state, drive an Audi.

The commercial with Betty White and Abe Vigoda made me laugh. Tackling old people--unexpected and funny. A second half commercial with Daltrey and Townshend would have been perfect.

The Google commercial got the most approval at our Super Bowl Party. Hard to pull off heartwarming without being cheesy, but I think that did it.

Good etrade commercials too.

bagoh20 said...

The most one sided argument in our culture: Green vs Liberty is dying from confusion. Good riddance.

Hoosier Daddy said...

@Hoosier Daddy: Do not despair. As far as I am concerned, Purdue just won the Super Bowl.

Well not despair just disappointed. I was expecting a lot more from our pass defense. Can't expect to win when you're playing 5-7 yards off the receiver and Drew Brees is the QB.

As for Purdue, well I'm an IU grad so that doesn't exactly ease the pain ;-)

TosaGuy said...

The best thing about the ad is that all the car stuff is at the end and can be edited out -- leaving a fun video to be used by bloggers everywhere to illustrate just how instrusive, petty and tyrannical the eco-chic movement is.

And also that the eco-chic movement as a trend as jumped the shark.

MadisonMan said...

I thought the Late Night with David Letterman ad was the best. Simple, funny, effective.

Charles Barkley and Go Daddy were the worst. Fire the Ad Agency.

raf said...

As for Purdue, well I'm an IU grad so that doesn't exactly ease the pain

Well, Tracy Porter (IU grad) also played a significant role.

Bob From Ohio said...

" was disturbed by the ad, especially the fact that Audi -- which has a rich history of collaboration with the nazis and a participatory role in the Third Reich and the Holocaust (slave labor)--would be so utterly tone- deaf as to think it humorous. "

My thought at the time exactly. I hated it.

My favorite was the Bud Light House.

Paddy O. said...

The Boost Mobile superbowl shuffle ad made me sad for Ditka and McMahon.

Hoosier Daddy said...

Best commercial was hands down:

Don't touch my mama and don't touch my Doritos.

And whoever thought up that stupid ass census commericial needs to be publically flogged.

Franco said...

Those who brought us this ad were tone-deaf. Obviously they were trying to make some kind of Reno 911 joke, and trying to exaggerate the power environmentalists have. Comedy has to have enough distance from reality so we can laugh and not be appalled.

Trouble is, police are already enforcing ridiculous laws. We already have no-knock drug busts on old ladies, frisking of innocents routinely at airports...cops brandishing guns at snowball wielding congressional interns ... DUI checkpoints....police overkill (seen any of those "To Catch a Predator" shows where a veritable swat team is there to take down some feeble miscreant?)

Anyone who has seen cops tase skateboarders, give out tickets for not wearing seat belts, had some officious drone being rude to them when trying to pick up a passenger at an airport, or seeing a meter maid standing waiting for the flag to drop on a soon to be overdue parking meter, doesn't quite get the humor intended by Audi. The fact is as ridiculous as they are made to appear, the green police aren't that much more ridiculous than law enforcement types ordinary Americans encounter every day.

So I think that it isn't only the enviro-nazi nature of this that is offensive, but how close it comes to reality regarding our regular police force and their drone-like enforcement of a growing number of laws and regulations.

They didn't do a focus group that included anyone with libertarian sensibilities, that's for sure.

traditionalguy said...

The fantasy world for the GreenNazis is where the only question is how one handles obvious crimes against the Enviro-State. That sets an agenda that they cannot lose. Their message is that everyone is a sinner that must pay for an indulgence, or be arrested. Sorry, but that message has a Zero truth. The normal consumer of cheap oil energy and coal produced electricity who is living an everyday American lifestyle is a healthy benefit to the World. Jews were never a threat to Germany in 1933, and the normal energy consumers are not a threat to the Fascist State today. It is all a crock. So this cartoon like presentation of blood and soil defending Volk fighting evil energy users is only a flashback from the original Nazi Party. They are back, and you can join them by driving the Audi or the Volk's Wagon. Obama never should have made that Berlin Speech to kick off his rule of the world. It awakened the old Audi guys' nostalgia.

From Inwood said...

It reminded me of the movie Fahrenheit 451

Or maybe The Great Dictator.

But maybe, I should leave the movie comparisons (& cheesecake) to TY.

Skyler said...

They didn't do a focus group that included anyone with libertarian sensibilities, that's for sure.

Just what focus group were they after? And then can we deport them?

grandrants said...

Ugh! This one made me want to leave the faucet running, leave the fridge door open, and just for the hell of it, turn on the lawn sprinklers. And then go kick a puppy.

At least they didn't go the route of preaching with a little kid, like this horrible MasterCard commercial...

Big Mike said...

At the time I thought that the ad was supposed to say that you don't have to buy a hybrid, and you don't have to buy a cheap piece of tin with an engine half the size of a sewing machine and a third the horsepower of your lawnmower in order to be green -- you can buy a large, cool Audi and even the environmental extremists (the "Green Police") will be happy with you.

Based on surveys that show that people buy hybrids to show off their environmental consciousness (witness the relative failure of the hybrid Honda Civic and hybrid Ford Escape against the distinctive-looking Prius), Audi is on the right track.

But IMHO the ad is a miss. You can't poke fun at environmentalists and then appeal to the buyer's desire to be recognized as a good guy by environmentalists. Not and still sell your cars.

David said...

The first thing I thought of when the Audi owners skipped the roadblock is Vichy France. After the green regime is defeated he'll be hanged and she'll be publicly shorn.

From Inwood said...

Or these movies: 1940),1943, or This Land is Mine, or 1984

slarrow said...

Terrible ad. The Green Police motif is either mockable or desirable. So the actual hook to the product should confirm either of those two. A gas-guzzler shows that the thing is mockable; a consultation with the Green Police before buying an Audi would signal that the foregoing was desirable.

Just getting out of line, however, because you have an Audi seems awfully Vichy, though. It's a mix of validation and capitulation, and it makes me hate Audi. I kept rooting for the "offenders" to punch the Green Police right in the mouth. Seeing the smug SOB driving by the line makes me root for severe tire damage on an extremely personal level. Terrible ad.

slarrow said...

And Hoosier Daddy is right: the kid with the Doritos was the best ad of the night. Interesting when the clear man of the house is only about eight years old.

From Inwood said...

Should've read Above Suspicion1943, The Mortal Storm 1940, This Land is Mine 1943, The Fallen Sparrow 1943, & 1984.

Gotta stop & turn it over to TY.

Henry said...

It was way too long. I hate long TV ads. Length directly subverts the virtues of the genre and the result is almost always meandering crap.

It did strike me that Clean Diesel, which gets none of the green love attached to Hybrids, is the right technology for a counter-culture play ... just not this one. Audi should have directly mocked Hybrids (too bad they couldn't have known in advance of the Prius troubles). Hybrids are the real green show-off car. Self-righteousness on wheels. Plus they're underpowered, undersized, and look like scared aquarium turtles. Audi should be selling themselves as the green car that's actually worth driving.

* * *

Now Google's Parisian Love ad was very good and surely quite affordable to produce.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nnsSUqgkDwU

Henry said...

@Big Mike -- I missed your comment as I was writing mine. I completely agree.

FloridaSteve said...

"And whoever thought up that stupid ass census commericial needs to be publically flogged."


Ummm that was paid for with your tax dollars! Sadly..

Synova said...

It's a diesel right?

The point of the add might have been how *surprising* it was that the car was "green."

People buy the idea that to be green you need a hybrid, but some other cars, particularly diesels get better mileage.

So maybe it was intended to make fun of "the green police" after all.

Fr Martin Fox said...

Tone deaf.

Reminds me of the margarine ad, in which the narrator tells us that some country in Europe passed a law banning trans-fats or something, and isn't that swell? And our margarine doesn't have that.

I don't care, I was stuck on you thinking, isn't it swell big government pushes the peons around like that?

I've seriously thought about writing the company a letter, saying, "ain't never giving a dollar to you fascists, thanks for the head's up."

Mark said...

Others have already mentioned the history of Audi. I think that this song (which was cut from the movie version of "The Sound of Music") expresses pretty well what the folks at Audi were thinking in the 1930s and 1940s and how they expect their current audience is reacting to the current infestation of environazis.

Hey, as long as I got mine, what do I care what happens to you, bub.

david7134 said...

I was sitting in a room full of people and everyone of them became instantly mad. They feel that the parody is to real. One author stated that if you are in the US for two days, you have broken a law.

Who dat won that Supa Bowl?

sonicfrog said...

Hey, before it was revealed to be an ad for Audi, I thought it was promo for California. They pretty much already arrest you for having plastic bags in San Francisco.

The best ad for me was the Doritos barking dog, followed by the Denny's "in space, no one can hear you scream" chicken.

Tibore said...

"EDH said...
I don't think the ad is intended to instill guilt.

If anything, it mocks the seriousness and proportionality of the enviro-guilt that exists.


Well, sure, obviously it's not intended to instill guilt. But unfortunately, the mockery of enviro-guilt got submerged in the whole "If you want to get along with the Jackboots, buy an Audi" theme. Of course Audi and their ad agency would not have intended for that sort of message to be read into their commercial, but at the same time the impression is there, and was left on a rather large swath of people. Their intent got lost in the execution of their message.

"What the ad does say is if you are one of those people suffering guilt because you've bought into or capitulated to the Green Police, at least ostensibly because of your status or friends, but still desire luxury performance, we have a car for you."

That may be what the ad was wanting/trying to say, but what it actually ended up saying was "This car will make you good in the eyes of envirofacists". That's what I mean by tone deaf: Audi should've caught that right off when the ad agency presented it to them. They didn't. Epic fail on their part.

Meade said...

"Some of the male green police are wearing shorts"

Easy now, EDH. Are you trying to make her head explode?

Mark said...

As long as we're discussing the "Green Police" in the context of German history, I might as well link to this song as well.

Lyle said...

"Clean diesel"... haha.

Lem said...

Rush is all over the Audi ad.

Paul Zrimsek said...

Maybe there's a samizdat version circulating at the agency in which the badass Audi driver charges right through the line of cones and runs over the armadillo. But any public communication which seems to satirize the Party still has to end by praising it.

Skyler said...

Their intent got lost in the execution of their message.

Bull. I heard about this earlier in the week and so did a lot of people. They spent a lot of money researching this and testing it the idea. Airing it during the superbowl took a lot of money. No one spends that much money and that much effort and is going to be surprised at this strong and pervasive a reaction.

The question is, why do they want to piss off so many people? We know it was intentional.

Fr Martin Fox said...

Skyler:

Coca-Cola put a lot of money and research--including lots of ads--into rolling out "New Coke."

Your observations are good; but sometimes people screw up; and big people do it in a big way.

Fen said...

Ann: They're thinking: Everybody's always on my case about ridiculous "x" crap ...it will establish my good standing in the community as a fellow x-ist and then I can be free — in private — to enjoy my incandescent light, hot tub, etc. etc.

You've just described why most democrats are Democrats.

Fen said...

"Clean diesel"... haha.

Ultra-low sulphur diesel (ULSD).

Reminds me, are American gas stations providing clean diesel yet?

MamaM said...

Rules are for other people. With enough money one can buy the appearance of compliance and move to the head of the line.

That's the message I received.

Fen said...

Rules are for other people

The proles in Moscow burning their furniture to survive the Russian winter, while Politburo elites divert timber resources to build their dachas on the Black Sea.

Thats what the Democrats are offering us.

virgil xenophon said...

Being hopelessly derivative here late in the game, but let me sum up from my pov. In order of appearance EDH is on the mark about the msg about the constant indoctrination bit, I feel--and his comments@9:17 are equally on the mark. And TosaGuy is dead on the money about the vid being a marker that the "eco-chic" has jumped the shark. Those here who see shadows of Vichy France are not far wrong. My take-away on this theme is that the vid hinted---however humorously--at the inevitability of it all--of the ultimate triumph of the Green Nazis--but that the collaborators, the Quislings and the Nomenklatura will do " jes fine" thank you very much, as they drive their hi-performance Audi Greenmobiles out to their countryside Dachas. A mix of "validation and capitulation" as slarrow states.

But unfortunately, ultimately Franco is right about all of the parody being too close to our rapidly evolving near-totalitarian present-day reality for comfort (and with a moniker like his, he should know, :) )

And cokaygne takes the prize by summing up an already on-tgt essay by saying of the long-suffering husband's Prius-driving wife that "if the guy is fortunate the brakes will fail as she's driving down that mountain road to the supermarket." LOL!!

Hoosier Daddy said...

Easy now, EDH. Are you trying to make her head explode?

Meade, I'm curious, when she saw the men without pants commercial did you have to break out the defibrilator kit?

DanK said...

It’s like life behind the Iron Curtain. Recall the wry humor of people stuck there (You pretend to pay us; we pretend to work). Everyone is right to mock the supercilious Green (Secret) Police running around in their green shorts (fancy top coats). But they still have all the power. The only joy in the life of a Soviet citizen was that rare pair of levis or elvis record. It’s not that you want to rub your neighbor’s nose in it, but it is something that makes your life a little bit better than theirs. Now, in the age of the Green Police, that prize possession that makes life a little bearable is your Audi. It lets you leave your neighbors behind for a brief moment of bliss.

BJK said...

The guy's wife, what about her? She's got the Prius. If the guy is fortunate, the brakes will fail as she's driving down that mountain road to the supermarket.

Well done, cokaygne, but swap out 'supermarket' for 'Whole Foods' when you use that joke with friends. Just adds that extra bit of schadenfreude to the mix.

Bushman of the Kohlrabi said...

Maybe Audi doesn't realize that cars are not included in the green police final solution.

Erik said...

I interpreted the ad as saying "Here's a way to get those busybodies off your back without having to drive a ... shudder ... Prius."

Ben said...

This ad reminds me of the Chewbacca Defense (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chewbacca_defense).

It's meant to confuse you so much that you have to think about it, discuss it with others, blog about it, rant about it, speculate about their real motives, whatever. But at the end of the day, you'll never figure it out, because "it does not make sense!" and all you'll remember is the word "Audi."

nunya said...

The ad made me laugh. The comments here are interesting, some amusing. I'm amused by the amount of anger the ad provoked.

jvermeer51 said...

Posted above, "if you want to be serious about the environment, this is the car for you, and no one is going to force you to buy it."
If they can legislate the kind of light bulbs you must buy, what makes you think you won't be forced to buy the kind of car they want you to.

JAL said...

We didn't look at it as an ad trying to sell something.

The consensus was it was a cautionary tale -- this is where we are headed if we don't throw the spendgenda snobs out.

Methadras said...

It's a parody of the idiocy of the green movement and it's preview of the potential logical conclusion and consequences thus, while at the same time showing that owning Audi's TDI exempts you from such idiocy because you are ultimately doing the right thing as defined by the green movement as it's being parodied. I believe they were trying to be to clever.

Some people could make the argument that Audi has charted a trend that it believes is a possible future. But I would contend that this future isn't possible simply because in a really green world, the grocery store wouldn't give you the option of plastic bags because they wouldn't carry them anymore, you couldn't buy incandescent bulbs because they simply don't exist anymore, etc. etc.

That would be my take on the commercial anyway.

Calypso Facto said...

@ Hoosier & Florida:

I agree that the Census ad was a) not funny, and b) completely without a point. Which would be just another amusing gov't failure if not for the $3 million we just spent...

Hope we counted all those jobs "created" for the spot?

Paddy O. said...

Which would be just another amusing gov't failure if not for the $3 million we just spent...

I'm not really all that bothered by the census ad. No doubt, the US Census had an advertising budget already built in to their spending. They chose to spend a bigger chunk of this money on a very prominent spot that reaches a broad swath of a national audience.

This is money that won't be spent in other ways in less effective directions.

former law student said...

The message is that the Audi A3 TDI satisfies the most scrupulous of environmentalists. Go stomp your foot on the accelerator.

But buy the Jetta Sportwagen -- it's cheaper. Note that the prof's TT is built on the same platform.

The overscrupulous can buy Audis for another reason: Audi as a company did not survive WW II. The factories and all other assets were seized by the Soviets as war reparations. VW bought the brand name from Daimler-Benz in 1964.

The overscrupulous would be prohibited from buying Ford, because Ford of Germany -- continuously owned by the Ford family, both built vehicles for the Nazis and used slave labor to do so.

former law student said...

On the automotive theme -- a commenter at the Chicago Tribune website suggested that Toyota has adopted a new slogan:

Toyota -- there's no stopping us now!

Jim Howard said...

I wonder how many approval points Obama lost when we fly-over state rednecks took it as another proposed Obama/Pelosi 'reform'?

John Stodder said...

I took the ad to be a celebration of stricter environmental regulations to come. This is the moment when the seas stopped rising. And while you must change your behavior in myriad ways, you can still drive this model Audi and avoid arrest.

I think the people who made this commercial believe that America has a pent-up need and desire to be told what to do to save the planet and to punish those who refuse to join in.

Calypso Facto said...

So we shouldn't critcize wasteful spending, as long as it's wasteful spending we planned on all along, Paddy?

When a private company pays $3 Mil for a spot, they're hoping to generate more than that in increased sales. And the Census was selling....what? I could understand an argument about the Census trying to increase voluntary participation, but how did that ad help?

traditionalguy said...

FLS...You are right that the prewar Audi complex which was located an hour north of Munich was taken by the Red Army and shipped east. Its post war rennaissance in the same location was done by VW. So the Black Forest was the home of both the Audi Company and the National Socialist Party. So they are risking a lame joke here about American Envros running wild like a Gestapo paramilitary. But since Ford did it too, then it's OK.

Tibore said...

""Fen said...
"Clean diesel"... haha.

Ultra-low sulphur diesel (ULSD).

Reminds me, are American gas stations providing clean diesel yet?"


"Effective June 1, 2006, refiners and importers nationwide are now required to ensure that at least 80 percent of the volume of the highway diesel fuel they produce or import is ULSD-compliant."

More information:
*FuelEconomy.gov page
*Wikipedia article

Cedarford said...

Mian said...
I was disturbed by the ad, especially the fact that Audi -- which has a rich history of collaboration with the nazis and a participatory role in the Third Reich and the Holocaust (slave labor)--would be so utterly tone- deaf as to think it humorous..


Big yawn. Who cares? 70 years ago....

And besides, any enemy uses means of production. Your computer is not morally evil because the company that makes it made AK-47s in the 50s the PLA used to kill Tibetans. Nor are Ford, GM, and IBM products evil because Nazis seized those facilities operating as subsidiaries in Europe in WWII. Or your Mitsubishi car....

Stupid argument, which gets even stupider as decades go by.

And prewar AUDI was taken up by the Soviets and no "Nazi" making AUDI products 70 years ago is still making them today, anywhere. And rest easy when you take some Bayer aspirin...

Youngblood said...

I honestly can't believe that anybody finds this commercial confusing. It's not a mixed message at all.

The commercial satirizes the petty thuggishness of contemporary environmental regulation, and then presents an alternative -- "green" as luxury and comfort, a shade of "green" that offers pleasure, not coercion.

Althouse wrote:

"How is that supposed to be an ad for the car? It's an ad against environmentalists. Doesn't that make people want to get a big old SUV?"

That's oversimplifying things a bit, isn't it? Are the only two options "become a petty and coercive eco-douche" or "make personal choices specifically to spite the eco-douches"?

Althouse wrote:

"I guess the ad is for more timid, appeasing types."

No. The ad is targeted at people who would like to reduce their emissions and their consumption but are against the idea of the government thumping heads to make people sacrifice for the greater good.

Duscany said...

The ad is schizophrenic. It sets you up for wanting to to see the Nazi green police put in their place and then seemingly endorses their totalitarian mentality by giving a free pass to someone in an Audi diesel. I wasn't planning on replacing my Honda anytime soon. But if I did, I sure wouldn't buy an Audi now.

Pogo said...

Youngblood said..."I honestly can't believe that anybody finds this commercial confusing. It's not a mixed message at all."

Lack of imagination is not a trait to be nurtured.

Pogo said...

"The ad is targeted at people who would like to reduce their emissions and their consumption..."

If that were their actual aim, they should stop driving and get a bicycle.

cokaygne said...

they should stop driving and get a bicycle.

Exactly! Come the revolution, the Green Police will be confiscating ALL the cars at the roadblock. The Speaker and other members of the nomenklatura will zoom by in their A3 TDIs while the peasants are pulled from their cars and chained together for the long walk to that new facility in Illinois.

traditionalguy said...

I am still waiting for the Mitsubishi Ad that humerously shows a young Japanese suicide driving a Mitsubsishi into the Boeing Plant in Seattle to stop Chrysanthemums from being killed in Global Warming.

Tibore said...

"Skyler said...

Bull. I heard about this earlier in the week and so did a lot of people. They spent a lot of money researching this and testing it the idea. Airing it during the superbowl took a lot of money. No one spends that much money and that much effort and is going to be surprised at this strong and pervasive a reaction.

The question is, why do they want to piss off so many people? We know it was intentional.


You're missing a shade of nuance in my criticism. The ad agency and Audi did indeed lose their intent in the execution of their message. But understand what the intent was first: They were trying to disguise paternalistic superiority in what they thought would be a "common guy" jokey ad in order to say "Hey, we're laughing at the excess too". But in reality not only agreeing with the mindset, they were actively propogandizing in sympathy of the excess. Their intent was to disguise that.

You don't make fun of, say, pretentiousness in drinking microbrews and specialty beers, then turn around and pitch a specialty beer. You make fun of the pretentiousness, then you pitch Bud Lite. So if a company thinks it's making fun of pretentiousness by advocating for a pretention, then it misses the mark. And that's what happened here.

The ad agency and Audi both demonstrated that they sympathized with the very outlook they thought they were parodying. But they tried to hide it by deigning to condescend to the hoi-polloi who in their minds were almost certainly not be as "progressive" as they in their "green" education. So they tried to play both sides of the street they visualized - both the "Hey, we know that this ecocrap is overdone, look how silly it is" and the "Here's how to be green in a 'cool' way". Problem is, they lost sight of the fact that their particular attempt to straddle that divide ended up saying "Hey, we 'know' that this ecocrap is overdone; here's how to join the ecocraptists anyway".

It's the same sort of "Hey, I'm normal folk" routine that compelled Michael Dukakis to get in an army tank and John Kerry to bother a group of Marines in a Wendys when all they wanted was to be left alone: They tried to strike a tone saying "(*Sigh*), yeah, some of the green activism is overbearing, we agree, but here's how to avoid it". But like I said above, implicit in that is the notion that 1. Such overbearingness is not only inevitable, but laudable, and 2. Somehow they can disguise authoritarianistic condescension as a "Just Folks" attitude via clumsy, over-the-top acting. In sum, they thought they were saying "We sympathize, but here's how to be a good little green citizen anyway". But instead, they ended up saying "We 'sympathize', but here's how to give in to eco-jackbootery anyway". And that's what I meant by saying their intent got lost in the execution of their message. What you missed - since I didn't take the time to elaborate on it (that's my fault) - was that their intent was not laudable to begin with. It was an attempt to disguise condescension. Their intent was to dress a moralistic sense of superiority in a comedy disguise. But they failed to realize that viewers would see right through it. That's what happens when elitists think they know more than the people they condescend to.

Youngblood said...

Pogo wrote:

"Lack of imagination is not a trait to be nurtured."

I didn't say that I can't imagine that people wouldn't get this commercial. I said that I can't believe it. There's a difference, and it's not a particularly subtle or nuanced one.

"If that were their actual aim, they should stop driving and get a bicycle."

Some do. However, whether or not they do does no violence to any of the points that I raised.

Youngblood said...

lyssalovelyredhead wrote:

"I didn't get any message that all these green restrictions were actually a bad thing."

The Green Police in the commercial were consistently shown utilizing absurd levels of force for minor infractions.

If you didn't pick up that message, it might not so much be a problem with the transmission as the equipment used to receive it.

MamaM said...

Advertisers in recent years have been working with psychologists to create ads that evoke feelings or trigger an emotional response from the viewer. Personal identification is one of the goals.

Which character in the ad was set to appear as the calmest, most successful, thoughtful, centered, smartest person present?

Which feelings or core longings might this one have been set up to tap?

What comes up may depend on the viewer. I saw this ad keying into feelings of Personal Superiority, addressing the longing for significance (to be regarded as unique and special) along with the need for to have one's personal worth reinforced by others (to be considered as valuable or better than others present).

Mr Smart Audi Buyer got to win by being Green AND presenting himself as tons smarter than all the others goombas present, including the law. He not only received a personal wave through; everyone watching got to see HIM zoom away a winner.

Pogo said...

"I didn't say that I can't imagine that people wouldn't get this commercial. I said that I can't believe it. There's a difference, and it's not a particularly subtle or nuanced one."

So you can imagine it, you saw the responses as written on this blog, but still you can't believe it.

Is that right?

Now, I'm not as nuanced as you, or nearly as smart, to be sure, but there were some pretty deft, funny, and detailed rejections of the commercial written here.

Are those po' folks jes' stupid?
Is that what you're trying to say?

Or mebbe by not "believing" it, you don't think they exist?

Help me out here.
Get unsubtle and un-nuanced for me.

Meade said...

Hoosier Daddy said...
"... did you have to break out the defibrilator kit?"

Almost. But then I try to deliver therapeutic doses of electrical energy to her heart on a continual basis using my own low-tech methods. So far, so good.

CLEAR!

Youngblood said...

Pogo wrote:

"So you can imagine it, you saw the responses as written on this blog, but still you can't believe it.

"Is that right?"

Yep. You're pretty close to the mark.

"Now, I'm not as nuanced as you, or nearly as smart, to be sure, but there were some pretty deft, funny, and detailed rejections of the commercial written here."

I pointed out that the difference between what I said and what you claimed I said wasn't particularly nuanced. I'm not really sure how you translated that as some kind of claim that I am more nuanced than you or smarter than you.

"Are those po' folks jes' stupid?

"Is that what you're trying to say?"

Nope. In these comments, I fairly regularly use terms like "fuckwit", "dimwit", and "fucktard" when confronted with someone who is being stupid.

"Or mebbe by not 'believing' it, you don't think they exist?"

Nope. You're getting cold again.

"Help me out here."
"Get unsubtle and un-nuanced for me."

I've been unsubtle and un-nuanced since my first comment in this thread.

I don't think that you really need me to "help you out here". I've seen your comments before, and I know that you're not stupid. So when I say that I do not believe you need me to help you out, it means that I think you're being disingenuous.

(PROTIP: That's also the way I meant it in my first comment.)

MamaM said...

When I asked the four males (ages 17, 18, 23, and 56) hanging in our kitchen about their emotional response to this ad, their responses were:

"I was angry. I wanted a bull dozer to rise up against them. I wanted to spite the Green Police. I wanted to be an anarchist" (17)

"I was disgusted by the idiocy." (18)

"I felt scared, because I know there are a bunch of people who would like the world to run that way. People who are neither balanced nor objective" (23)

"It came off as funny in some regards, but it also came off as attacking my freedom. I almost felt violated. I didn't want someone telling me what I should or shouldn't be doing. (56)

Four unsubtle men who felt fear, anger, disgust.

I'm not sure if the advertiser was aiming for that strong of a connect, but it works with my theory on the hero being set up to represent someone who escapes the BS with his life and reputation intact.

Bruce said...

They're giving permission to the majority of people who hate that "green" crap to buy a "green" car.

Mian said...

C4, I figured you'd turn up somewhere soon out of the muck, like the poison mushroom you are. I find it funny that you homed onto my comment among the 120 or so in this thread to malign.

You don't seem to understand my point, apparently. Audi's error, I think, is in assuming that bygones are bygones: "it's been 70 years", you say, "who cares?" Well, many people do care and are rather sensitive to murder and genocide. And Audi commercials showing "Green Police" arresting citizens in their homes. 70 years is nothing in the long march of history.

As for the bayer aspirin you suggested I take, why don't you crush them up in your bony hand and push them up your hitler hole?

Duscany said...

"They're giving permission to the majority of people who hate that "green" crap to buy a "green" car."

No one needs the permission of a Superbowl commercial to buy a low- emission high-mpg diesel. The problem with the commercial is that it doesn't provide an emotionally satisfying payoff. Instead of making viewers want to buy an Audi, it rather leaves them saying "huh?" or "screw you."

Apparently the viewer is supposed to identify with the Audi driver who got a pass through the green police checkpoint. I think far more people identified with the guy in the checkout line who got busted for choosing plastic over paper.

Pogo said...

Me? Disingenuous?

Not when yer bein' so genuous.

Pogo said...

Ingenuous.

Whatever.

Fen said...

Yah, I've been refrigerating my reaction a bit, waiting to see if I missed some obscure message.

But all I'm left with is the desire to throttle the Audi driver elitist pig.

And of course, contempt for all the metrosexuals that allow the greenies to perp walk them.

Must admit that its curious to see all the Green PR still coming out of Big Business. I wonder when they'll figure out what all the climate scandals mean re the AGW fraud.

Mian said...

FLS said: The overscrupulous would be prohibited from buying Ford, because Ford of Germany -- continuously owned by the Ford family, both built vehicles for the Nazis and used slave labor to do so.

Ah, but you mean Ford-Werk company of Germany, which the Ford company and family had no control over (it, being as CF explained, under the power of the enemy) and not the American Ford company, which produced B-24s, Sherman tanks and jeeps for the war effort. By the by, I believe many of those B-24s were used to bomb the Ford-Werke factories in Cologne!

What is the overscrupulous to do?

Youngblood said...

Pogo,

I can't believe that people are missing the point of a simple commercial when these same people almost certainly see many commercials each day that follow the exact same template, and seemingly have no problem understanding them.

I mean, c'mon... How many times have we seen commercials where the problems of daily life are exaggerated to an absurd and humorous degree only to have the advertisers inform us that escape is possible through the use of a specific product?

(Ring around the collar! Calgon, take me away! Avoid the Noid! Where's the beef?)

What I think is that a number of people in this thread want to be aggrieved, in the same sense that Lefty grievance mongers want to be aggrieved. They want to believe that Audi-drivin' elitists are sneering down their noses at them. They want to believe that Audi is trying to force some notion of climate change on them. They want to believe that this commercial is an attack on them, personally, by their "political" enemies.

But it's not.

It's a minute long commercial in which petty environmentalists and environmental regulations are lampooned in support of the message that you don't have to be a douchebag to go green.

The target audience isn't political ideologues on either side of the aisle who are incapable of seeing things in terms other than "our team" and "the bad guys". The target audience is those people who reject the coercion and pettiness of environmental regulation but also would like to reduce their own emissions and consumption to a reasonable degree.

Fen said...

The target audience is those people who reject the coercion and pettiness of environmental regulation but also would like to reduce their own emissions and consumption to a reasonable degree.

Sorry, but that seems contradictory to me. A desire to reduce your own consumption and emissions to a "reasonable" degree seems petty. Like the owner of Lear jet insisting they recycle aluminum beer cans..

I do get your overall point. But I think that regardless, the ad team failed to deliver... as demonstrated by reactions here.

A Lawyer Mom's Musings said...

Well, I guess Audi got its wish. Because here we all are, psychoanalyzing a bipolar car commercial.

"HEAD ON! APPLY DIRECTLY TO FOREHEAD. HEAD ON! APPLY DIRECTLY TO FOREHEAD!"

former law student said...

Ah, but you mean Ford-Werk company of Germany, which the Ford company and family had no control over

Interesting article showing that Ford of Germany switched to 100% war production for the Nazis by the beginning of 1941, and had already received its first "foreign workers" to replace military call ups in 1940. The American Fords retained a majority interest at all times, were paid accrued dividencs once the war was over, and received over $1.1 million in reparations after the war (they had asked for $7 millions).

http://www.thenation.com/doc/20000124/silverstein

Mark said...

Youngblood

Your analysis is good up until this:

The target audience is those people who reject the coercion and pettiness of environmental regulation but also would like to reduce their own emissions and consumption to a reasonable degree.

To me the commercial seems to be saying that for better or worse (almost surely worse), the environazis are taking over. Since this the people at the ad agency probably live in the New York City area, this impression is probably more pronounced than in other parts of America. The commercial was probably mostly complete before Scott Brown victory and the direction of te commercial was probably largely set before the CRU revelations started eroding the credibility of much of the foundation of the environazi narrative.

The message seems to be, "Bothered by pesky environazis? No need to give up a kick ass, good looking, fun to drive car. We've engineered a clean diesel that accellerates and handles without compromise and yet complies with all the stupid rules that these assholes can come up with."

Perhaps they need to reinforce this commercial with some others where the message is spelled out more directly.

Mian said...

Interesting article showing that Ford of Germany switched to 100% war production for the Nazis by the beginning of 1941, and had already received its first "foreign workers" to replace military call ups in 1940. The American Fords retained a majority interest at all times, were paid accrued dividencs once the war was over, and received over $1.1 million in reparations after the war (they had asked for $7 millions).

http://www.thenation.com/doc/20000124/silverstein


But did the Fords have control over Ford-Werks during the war? Did they make decisions and guide policy? I would certainly guess not.

Regardless, equating Ford with Audi -which is where this started- is unfair and obscures the point that the 'new' Audi, as reconstituted postwar (sans factories, perhaps, but with all their brain-trust intact) should know better than to assume that people won't identify them with their role in German wartime industry. And to base their ads on a totalitarian theme..no matter how tongue-in-cheek...is a pretty dumb way to go.

El Presidente said...

Sorry if this is repetitive but I just don't have the heart to read 150 comments which appear to say the same thing.

The 'Green Police' ad is a masterpiece of satire aimed at greens who believe that the environment is justification for government coercion that they wouldn't tolerate in any other area.

The ad appeals to rational environmentalists that care for the environment but understand that regulations on battery disposal, composting and incandescent bulbs are a sham and make a mockery of the environmental movement.

The Audi A3 TDI is presented as a car for the intelligent environmentalist, one that understands economics, utility and fun. The A3 TDI gets about 50 MPG on the highway can comfortably haul 4 adults and luggage for the the weekend. And it is a heck of a fun car to drive.

Lighten up people.

Youngblood said...

"Sorry, but that seems contradictory to me. A desire to reduce your own consumption and emissions to a "reasonable" degree seems petty. Like the owner of Lear jet insisting they recycle aluminum beer cans."

See, this is exactly what I am talking about. Why is it petty to want to pollute less? Why is it petty to want to consumre less?

I mean, I get that the whole global warming thing is a sham. But the environmentalist tendency existed before global warming became an issue, and it will continue even if global warming is completely and thoroughly discredited.

I also get that many types of recycling are a sham, too. For example, nobody wanted recycled paper until the government legislated a market into existence by making the makers of certain paper products use a certain percentage of recycled paper.

However, this sort of thing wasn't necessary with aluminum (the example that you cited). The demand for discarded aluminum is so great, in fact, that even with the incredible glut injected into the market by mandatory recycling programs, discarded aluminum retains value. People who manufacture products that utilize aluminum are willing to pay for it, because buying discarded aluminum is cheaper and more efficient than making new aluminum.

What's petty about acknowledging that? What's wrong it acknowledging that it's more efficient, cost-effective, and rational to recycle aluminum than dump it into a landfill somewhere?

What's petty about acknowledging that reduced emissions are better for the quality of our air and water? What's petty about acknowledging that more efficient automobiles with better gas mileage reduce the price of gas for everybody, and reduce the price of consumer goods by lowering transport costs?

There is, of course, nothing petty about any of this. Just as there's nothing petty about buying an SUV or pick-up truck if you want or need one, despite what the whiners on the Left say.

"I do get your overall point. But I think that regardless, the ad team failed to deliver... as demonstrated by reactions here."

I've read through this whole thread, and there are more than a few people who've pointed out that the commercial isn't particularly confusing or difficult to understand.

The people who haven't gotten it seem to be the ones with an ax to grind: the people who want to believe that Audi-drivin' elitists are sneering down their noses at them, or the people whose position seems to be that any remotely "green" choice or goal is an imposition on them, personally, by some real or imagined class of people who are oppressing them.

Youngblood said...

"To me the commercial seems to be saying that for better or worse (almost surely worse), the environazis are taking over."

Well, they kind of are. However, they acknowledge this in a way that clearly satirizes the trend. It's not at all ambiguous or subtle. If you are incapable of or unwilling to see it, as I said in response to the first comment in this thread, it's not so much a message with the transmission as the equipment used to receive it.

"Since this the people at the ad agency probably live in the New York City area, this impression is probably more pronounced than in other parts of America."

There are few major cities in the United States you could move to and not have to deal with some sort of mandatory or semi-mandatory curbside recycling program. It's true that NYC has a higher and more visible population of eco-douchebags, but it's not like this is some kind of "New York vs. the rest of America" thing by a longshot.

And, of course, the reason that curbside recycling programs have doubled in the last decade or so is because they're profitable for the cities and towns that implement them. Aluminum, tin, and other metals that are used in packaging have real value, so do several different kinds of plastics. The market for recycled paper products was created by government regulation, but the market for many other recyclables would exist without government regulation.

"The commercial was probably mostly complete before Scott Brown victory and the direction of te commercial was probably largely set before the CRU revelations started eroding the credibility of much of the foundation of the environazi narrative."

You're almost certainly overstating the importance of both developments. Had Scott Brown run on some kind of hellfire and brimstone anti-environmentalist platform, he would have gotten his ass handed to him on a sling given the quality of Massachusetts' air and water just 30 or 35 years ago. (America's first cap and trade scheme was implemented in response to the unacceptable levels of acidity in the state's lakes.)

Of course, none of that had anything to do with the phantom threat of global warming and everything to do with the very real damage that industrial pollutants were doing to the nation's lakes, waterways, and air.

Up until the second half of the 1990's, the fear of global warming had no impact on evironmental regulation in the United States.

"The message seems to be..."

Yeah. And the problem is... what, exactly? Audi's in the business of selling cars, not producing political statements for Right-wing ideologues.

"Perhaps they need to reinforce this commercial with some others where the message is spelled out more directly."

No matter what Audi does, the people who are inclined to see this commercial in a certain way will see the company's commercials in a certain way.

Micajah said...

I stopped reading the comments after the first few dozen, so pardon me if this repeats some comment above.

If you know about the Audi (and VW) "TDI" automobiles, then the ad makes sense. They are high mileage cars that are fun to drive.

In other words, you can have your "green" and enjoy it.

The other stuff about incandescent bulbs and such merely points out that this ability to enjoy "green" isn't always the case.

I guess Audi figured most folks were already familiar with the advantages their TDI cars have, so they sought to make a joke. Unfortunately, a joke that has to be explained isn't a good joke.

Franco said...

"I stopped reading the comments after the first few dozen, so pardon me if this repeats some comment above."

That's funny, thank God I didn't stop at 135 I would have missed your profound insights on this matter.