It’s Super Bowl Sunday, the Steelers are already up on the Cardinals when it cuts to commercial and the viewer sees the following:
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With the smash of a glass store front, Jason Statham appears, side steps some punk in time to jump into his late ’70s Mercedes sedan in time to see two disco thugs lumber into their Lincoln to give pursuit. After crashing the Merc, Statham sprints into about 1986 where he, dressed like a bald Don Johnson, car jacks the local tennis pro using his Zach-Morris-brick-cell-phone to no doubt call his girlfriend named Buffy. Next thing you know, we see Statham tuck and roll from the car and a beautiful Zinnobar Red E28 is flung through a billboard, Dukes of Hazzard/ Starsky and Hutch-style.
But don’t fret, the Driver(should I just call him the Transporter?) finds himself in the mid 1990’s in time to steal a Lexus ES to escape what looks to be a jacked up GMC. After realizing that only old people are driving that kind of implied boring car, Statham slides around a corner to find the new Audi A6 only to snag the keys and take off, finally escaping his pursuers.
And that sums up Audi’s 2nd consecutive Super Bowl ad.
This year’s ad was a much better attempt than last year where, somehow, an Audi R8 severed the nose of a late 80’s Rolls Royce Corniche. I actually, liked this ad a lot and thought Audi took a clever jab at it’s competitors with a mix of pop culture and now-traditional stereotypes of BMW, Lexus and Mercedes.
With Jason Statham as the “star” throughout the commercial, Audi taps into the audience of the inexplicably popular Transporter movie series with which Statham has now become inextricably linked to the roll of Frank Martin, the Transporter who only drives Audis(or their related-by-marriage-brethren such as Lamborghini). In using that, Audi then plays on the stereotype that Mercedes are cars that peaked in the 1970’s and are only good for thugs, BMW’s had their hay day in the greed-is-good 1980’s, while cushy, boring Lexus cars grew to wide-spread popularity in the bland 1990’s.
Audi, of course, is now stating it’s intentions in the sport luxury market: Everyone else has been on top but now they’re done and we’re here to step up and be the car of now. Do I think this ad will give them more sales? No, better products and packaging lines will bring that. Did Audi trump their competitors with their enjoyable yet poignant ad? Absolutely.