WHAT: Audi's Super Bowl ad that questions the hypocrisy of loving our daughters but paying women less for equal work.
WHO: Audi, Venables Bell & Partners
WHY WE CARE: Super Bowl ads are known for their creativity, for the brands that use its massive stage to really flex their advertising chops in ways we rarely see the rest of the year. But for all the hype, much of it is fluff. Really expensive, effective, entertaining fluff, but still fluff. And that's OK! We don't need nor want every brand to get deep on us. Here, Audi and agency Venables Bell & Partners serve up a two'fer. Even before the final tagline, this would be a classic Super Bowl spot—an emotional, uplifting story beautifully told by director Aoife McArdle. But the entire thing takes on greater weight with that last line—"Audi of America is committed to equal pay for equal work. Progress is for everyone." Boom.
Much like Budweiser's Super Bowl entry, in any other year, this ad wouldn't be seen as political or even particularly bold. But we live in times that put added meaning, context, and importance to the work brands do. Don't believe me? Check out the comments about Budweiser right now on Breitbart. Or the response thread to Audi's own tweet.
Audi has already publicly supported equal pay, and established a graduate internship program requiring 50% female enrollment. It's not that advertising should have to weigh in on political or social issues, but what work like Audi's does illustrate, is that if brands know what their values are—something many marketers have been talking about and advocating long before this last election—letting the rest of us know what those values are makes the work that much better.