“What do I tell my daughter?”
This year, Audi’s 60-second Super Bowl commercial will ditch the humor and go with a more serious ad about gender equality. The narrator asks what he should tell his daughter as he watches her race on a go-kart track. “That she will automatically be valued less than every man she’ll ever meet?” he asks. The commercial shows a young girl racing against boys in a go-kart derby as a voiceover by her dad addresses men, women, and the gender pay gap. It closes with Audi’s commitment to “equal pay for equal work”.
The ad may seem like it comes out of left field for the car company, but NBC News reports JD Power and Associating as saying “that women either make or influence as much as 80 percent of vehicle purchases in the U.S. each year.” Loren Angelo, the VP of Audi’s marketing of America, told USA Today, “We are a brand that’s always conscious of what is happening in the social space.”
The commercial was directed by Aoife McArdle, a writer and director from Northern Ireland, who was nominated for Best Cinematography, Best Visual Effects and Best Sound at the Ciclope Festival in 2015, and who has worked with Samsung, Honda, Vodafone, and more. McCardle issued a statement obtained by NBC News that says, “It goes without saying that we should be blind to gender and race. People’s merit can’t be predetermined on the purely superficial. It’s commendable that Audi is committed to implementing equality in the workplace. Hopefully other leading brands will follow suit.”
As of the Saturday night before the big game, Audi’s ad had garnered over 5 million views on youtube- 13,000 thumbs up, and 46,000 dislikes. This is Audi’s 9th year with a commercial at the Super Bowl, and the agency behind the spot is Venables Bell & Partners, who has worked with brands like Blue Moon, Chipotle, Intel, Google, Massage Envy, Play Station, and Reebok, among others.