Sunday, February 07, 2010

The worst superbowl commercial

of all time? Or for 2010?

Did you see the Audi Green Police ad? Methinks they just shot themselves in the foot. I am their target market, and there is no way I am going to buy one of those after seeing that deeply insulting commercial.

If they were looking to alienate Boho Greens, they did a great job.

If they are were looking to sell cars, I gotta ask what they were smoking.

The NY Times calls this commercial misguided.  I call it marketing malpractice.


  1. Agreed. TOTALLY offended by the Green Police ad. Seems like they want to play both sides of the fence: deride the Green Movement to attract those who, well, deride the Movement, and gain favor with Green advocates by showing a car that easily passes the Green Police' standards. But the spot really leaned on the derision angle,a nd frankly, I believe there NEEDS to be Green "police", since polluters have set the agenda for so long. Forget GW; polluters have been destroying wetlands, a natural buffer against hurricanes and ocean swells; polluters have messed up soil, hence debacles like Belmont High in LA, where after spending $200M of public monies to build the school, they found the ground too contaminated to allow the school to open; polluters are killing fish in rivers and oceans at alarming rates. So yes, I was offended too. No Audi/VW for me.

  2. I liked the ad. It was one of very few ads in this Superbowl with a fresh idea instead of an old retread from last year.

    The USA Today viewer panel ranked it the sixth best ad of the game.

    The target audience is probably people who think of themselves as "green but not that green" or "green but not Green." (I know some right-wing engineers in that category.)

    Nevertheless, it's interesting that the Green Police are not depicted as fat, ugly, lazy, stupid, ineffective, evil, or even wrong. The Green Police successfully enforce their standards in all instances and the protagonist accedes to them. At worst, you could say the Green Police seem to have a lot of manpower to devote to minor offenses. As negative stereotyping goes, that's pretty mild.

    For unrelated reasons, I'm kind of down on Volkswagen and not sure I'd buy another one. But I do think Audis have attractive body styling.

  3. I just want to mention that comment #1 is not my friend, Eric, of the p-value pet peeve.

    I am offended at the very notion of green police. I think we should just price carbon to take into account more of its environmental costs and let people make their own trade off decisions.

  4. @Richard
    Actually, the green police on the Segways were very chubby. That was part of the insult. Everyone knows (or should know) that real Greens would be riding bicycles, and they would be hunks in spandex. ;-)

  5. I missed that. Well, I missed he Superbowl too. I own an Audi that I love that is 11 years old. If I didn't already own one that add would make me reconsider buying one. I find the entire notion of green police offensive, and agree with you on pricing carbon and letting people make their own decision.


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