The Real Message Behind Audi's Super Bowl Ad Isn't Exactly An Uplifting One

The Internet is in the proverbial tizzy about Audi’s “feminist” Super Bowl advertisement, in which the automaker comes out in favor of equal pay for women.

At first blush, the spot seems to be nothing but the usual corporate slacktivism, a feel-good fluff-vertorial making a “brave stand” in support of an issue that was decided long ago. I’m reminded of Joaquin Phoenix’s brilliant portrayal of Commodus in Gladiator, arriving in full armor as soon as he can do so without any risk. “Father, have I missed the battle?” Well, Audi, you’ve missed the war; if there’s a place in the United States where women are actually paid significantly less for doing the same job as men, it’s not evident from what I’m reading.

After watching the one-minute advertisement carefully, however, I understood feminism, or equal pay, is the last thing Audi wants you to take away from it. The message is far subtler, and more powerful, than the dull recitation of the pseudo-progressive catechism droning on in the background. This spot is visual — and as you’ll see below, you can’t understand it until you watch it and see what it’s really telling you.

Let me tell you up front: chances are you won’t like what Audi has to say.

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  • FreedMike I’d love to see more tracks, or off-road parks if that’s your jam. But for those of us who’d love to take part in this kind of thing, practicality is the limiting factor. Racing has always been expensive, and most people don’t want to do it with their daily drivers - I’d love to see what my GLI would do on a track, but not at the cost of voiding my warranty, or potentially wrapping up the car (which I’m pretty sure would put me on State Farm’s Keith Moon-trashing-the-Holiday Inn list). As a practical matter, you have to have a vehicle that is intended to be used for racing, and the ability to fix it; most folks don’t have that kind of money or skill set.
  • Dukeisduke Oh, so it *is* a hatchback. Last night, I watched the replay of the reveal with Tim Kuniskis presenting the car, on Instagram. A "fly-through" of the car on the pre-rollout video made it look like they were going through an open hatch, so it had me wondering. The car attracted a lot of negative comments on IG, on feeds of guys who were there live.This is probably the least "electric car" electric car.
  • MaintenanceCosts Nice styling, but purposely amplifying EV noise will be just as obnoxious as purposely amplifying ICE noise. I'm over cars that are loud for the sake of being loud.
  • Ajla -I don't hate it, which is something of a win for Dodge.-The styling is decent but to my eye it seems to crib from the ''65-'67 more than the '68-'69.-Although I appreciate the attempt at giving an EV an "exhaust", from the sound clips I heard, the vehicle doesn't sound very good. Kind of like an Ecoboost Ford with a vacuum leak. YMMV and maybe it'll sound better in person but for now I think ICE still has an aural advantage. There is more to it than pure decibels. All that said, I prefer this to silence.-I'm surprised it is a true 2-door, although it seems offering a Stinger-style 5-door version wouldn't be too hard. However, for folks that complained about a lack of EV coupes, you just lost your excuse.-Range, prices, overall availability and trim levels are all obviously big question marks right now.-Im still not sure how this all bodes for Dodge's future as for several years this is almost certainly going to be a much lower volume vehicle than the old Charger/Challenger duo. They'll need more than just the Hornet and this to make it to 2030 and beyond.
  • Kendahl A Charger with only two doors? I though that would be a Challenger.One of the desirable features of an electric drive train is that it's quiet. Why ruin it with fake engine noises?The exterior body design looks elegant. The dashboard, on the other hand, looks like a video game.