Technology advances despite a political conflict.
Opinion polls show that Americans are growing tired of eco-nannyism. This isn’t a new trend, but on February 7 it went prime-time, during the biggest TV event of the year: Superbowl XLIV.
During the fourth quarter, the big game’s record-breaking 100 million-plus TV viewers witnessed a new commercial for the Audi A3 TDI luxury sedan. Set to the tune of “The Dream Police” (a 1979 hit by the band Cheap Trick), the 60-second Audi ad depicts so-called “green police” arresting people who install incandescent light bulbs and throw batteries in the trash. The punch line arrives when a green cop at a traffic checkpoint identifies an Audi A3 and tells the driver, “Clean diesel … you’re good to go, sir.”
Audi’s ironic ad simultaneously ridicules the green movement and promotes the green cred of its product, which the company says produces 30 percent less greenhouse-gas (GHG) emissions per mile than a comparable gasoline-powered car. In this way, the company’s marketing strategy assumes at least two things about prospective Audi buyers:
1) They’re sick and tired of eco-preaching. They’re choking on locally grown, fair-trade, organic tofu burgers, and they’re ready to kick the next person who mentions a carbon footprint; and