February 8, 2010

The Super Bowl ads we didn’t get to see

Filed under: Environment, Football, Media — Tags: , , , — Nicholas @ 08:29

At least, for Canadians watching the game on CTV, we didn’t get to see most of these ads, including Audi’s brief trip into the very near future:

Audi’s effort won both best and worst titles from the readers at the Wall Street Journal.

Update: Nick Gillespie also thought this ad to be quite noteworthy:

. . . the great ad in last night’s game was, IMO, the Audi “Green Police” spot, and not simply because it showcased a classic Cheap Trick tune to astonishingly great (read: totally nostalgic for late-era boomers who grew up thinking Robin Zander was cool and Bun E. Carlos was an animatron and Rick Nielsen was crazy funny and that Tom Petersson was, like Kurt Von Trapp in The Sound of Music or Jan Brady in The Brady Bunch, well, I don’t know but he must have done something to be there) advantage. No, it was also right up to the moment I realized that it was a pitch for a car that I will never purchase, it seemed like a Mike Judge vision of a future that is almost the present (finally, a reason to thank SCOTUS for flipping the coin toward George W. Bush in 2000).

Will it move cars? Who knows. It moves . . . minds. Which rarely come with the sort of 100,000 mile warranty that is standard even on overpriced, underpowered, and breakdown prone vehicles like Audis.

Some interesting comments to Nick’s post:

grrizzly|2.8.10 @ 9:04AM|#
Imagine a Holocaust movie. Jews are in concentration camps. Regularly sent to gas chambers. Suddenly one man receives documents proving he is not a jew. He’s set free. He walks away. Happy End.
This is what the ad is.

iowahawk|2.8.10 @ 9:10AM|#
I thought it was the best Super Bowl ad of all time, and not for the reasons Audi was hoping for. Hilarious, creepy and upbeat all at the same time. And the punchline: The sponsor (Audi) merrily approves of the dystopian fascism. My jaw hit the ground.

Enjoy Every Sandwich|2.8.10 @ 9:16AM|#
When I saw the ad I was thinking “this will give Al Gore a hard-on, assuming he still gets those”. It’s a left-wing dream world.

PM770|2.8.10 @ 11:20AM|#
Right. I think Audi probably owes Al one clean television.

Tulpa|2.8.10 @ 11:28AM|#
It’s called extremely skilled advertising. Give different messages to different target audiences, hopefully a message that makes them want to buy your product.
I looked at it and liked the (obviously ironic) portrayal of the Green Police, while your average lefty is saying “Yeah man, they should totally send swat teams to people’s houses looking for light bulbs!”

Update, 9 February: Added the tag GreenGestapo, as this appears to be trending in the blogosphere . . . I expect to have further use for the tag in the future.

Update, 2 February 2014: The original video has been removed, so here’s another link instead:

And Mark Steyn‘s original comments, recently republished:

A man asks for a plastic bag at the supermarket checkout. Next thing you know, his head’s slammed against the counter, and he’s being cuffed by the Green Police. “You picked the wrong day to mess with the ecosystem, plastic boy,” sneers the enviro-cop, as the perp is led away. Cut to more Green Police going through your trash, until they find … a battery! “Take the house!” orders the eco-commando. And we switch to a roadblock on a backed-up interstate, with the Green Police prowling the lines of vehicles to check they’re in environmental compliance.

If you watched the Super Bowl, you most likely saw this commercial. As my comrade Jonah Goldberg noted, up until this point you might have assumed it was a fun message from a libertarian think-tank warning of the barely veiled totalitarian tendencies of the eco-nanny state. Any time now, you figure, some splendidly contrarian type — perhaps Clint lui-même in his famous Gran Torino — will come roaring through flipping the bird at the stormtroopers and blowing out their tires for good measure. But instead the Greenstapo stumble across an Audi A3 TDI. “You’re good to go,” they tell the driver, and, with the approval of the state enforcers, he meekly pulls out of the stalled traffic and moves off. Tagline: “Green has never felt so right.”

So the message from Audi isn’t “You are a free man. Don’t bend to the statist bullies,” but “Resistance is futile. You might as well get with the program.”

Strange. Not so long ago, car ads prioritized liberty. Your vehicle opened up new horizons: Gitcha motor running, head out on the highway, looking for adventure. … To sell dull automobiles to people who lived in suburban cul de sacs, manufacturers showed them roaring round hairpin bends, deep into forests, splashing through rivers, across the desert plain, invariably coming to rest on the edge of a spectacular promontory on the roof of the world offering a dizzying view of half the planet. Freedom!

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