Thursday, August 27, 2009

Social relevance of an Audi ad

Today you could run this ad without the last five seconds and it’d make perfect sense.

Do you remember the first time you noticed the change? Some hair-gel-and-braces type cut you up, a smug grin spread all across his irksome chops, and as you looked down for the obligatory BMW badge, you rubbed your eyes and exclaimed, “Hang on, isn’t that an Audi?”

I suspect it’s not that they all suddenly switched. I just think the next generation all bought Audis because they weren’t told to do otherwise. You see, during the 90s this ad basically functioned as a public service announcement – ‘Okay I’m the kind of guy people don’t really like. It says here I should drive a 3 series. Got it.’

Once they stopped running the ad, ole smug chops was left to figure it out for himself and just picked the nearest shiny thing. Next thing you know a classic ad has lost all relevance.

It’s interesting how culture can shift and make an ad ‘of its time’. For example, The Royal British Legion’s great line, ‘Give a damn. Give a pound.’ also no longer works. These days, if you want to show you give a damn, you retweet it:
RT @daz @royalbritishlegion I wish dat dey had more money
On the other hand, some ads are unquestionably timeless. People will always love or hate Marmite. Stella will always be expensive. And Cadbury’s Flake will always look really nice when being eaten by some bird biting it provocatively and going “ooh”.

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