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The Audi Superbowl ad that is making men mad

The Super Bowl is on today and even if you know nothing about American football, you are probably familiar with the commercials that are run during the broadcast.

It is the super expensive holy grail of advertising, reserved for major commercial campaigns. This year Audi’s big game commercial ‘Daughter’ focuses on what it deems to be a critical social issue: the gender pay gap.

It depicts a girl racing against boys in a soapbox derby, while the voiceover makes the simple but powerful point that men and women should be valued equally. “What do I tell my daughter?” the dad in the voiceover asks. “Do I tell her that her grandpa is worth more than her grandma? That her dad is worth more than her mom? That despite her education, her drive, her skills, her intelligence, she will automatically be valued as less than every man she ever meets? Or maybe I’ll be able to tell her something different.”

The vice president of marketing for Audi of America, Loren Angelo, told Forbes. “This is a culturally engaging topic that we as a company are very focused on, and we think that to have a profound presence in the Super Bowl, and for the investment we’re making, we want to relate to what America’s talking about. And this is certainly something that is true to Audi and to something that’s happening in our society.”

The ad has already been viewed 5 million times but it hasn’t been universally appreciated. It has only 10,000 likes to 45,000 dislikes” Why?  Because as Refinery29 observed: “Because people think it’s anti-male.”

“Can we start a petition to send these women to Saudi Arabia so they can experience true female oppression,” one genius writes.

“Tell your daughter to find a real man to marry, and to avoid the mistake that her mother made,” says another upstanding citizen. “Tell her to buy a Dodge. “

“The wage gap does not exist,” writes an expert on corporate finance. “There is no company that pays a woman less then a man for the same job.” 

Yet Audi’s post on Facebook is flooded with positive messages from grateful men and women.  The ad, directed by a female, is unlike any commercial Audi has ever made. That it is delving into pay parity at all is significant. That it’s doing that to coincide with the largest sporting event in America, only compounds its significance.

It makes a strong pitch for gender equality at a point in time where that is needed more than ever. (And before you ask, Audi is committed to pay parity.)

What do you think of the ad?

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