Audi’s Super Bowl commercial this year depicts a young girl competing in a local go-kart race. While she wins the race, the narration by her father brings in a harrowing tone: “Do I tell her that despite her education, her drive, her skills, her intelligence, she will automatically be valued as less than every man she ever meets?”

The commercial effectively highlights the gender pay gap as both a national and personal issue. The story tugs at your heart and the somber narration makes you think about the future. The Super Bowl’s 111 million people audience is a great opportunity to raise awareness about a national issue or a brand. So why has the commercial received more dislikes than likes on Youtube?

Based on the comments listed below, the issue with the ad is not the political nature of the commercial, but Audi’s failure to reflect the values of gender equality in their own organization.

Audi increased awareness of their brand, but they highlighted the demographic of their executive board instead of their cars. Viewers took to the Audi website to verify Audi’s commitment to equality and took issue with their overwhelmingly male board.

Screen Shot 2017-02-07 at 10.20.52 AMThis negative attention shows that even during the biggest football game of the year, consumers are quick to audit brands’ authenticity, calling out even the slightest misalignment with their claims in advertising. This should provide a warning to other brands who want to advocate for a cause: you must practice what you preach. At the same time, Audi should be commended for its attempt to advocate for an important issue.


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