Bikinis, innuendo and…equal pay? Audi redefines the provocative Super Bowl ad

Audi is using Super Bowl 51 to talk about pay equality.

Audi is using Super Bowl 51 as a platform to showcase its all-new 2018 Audi S5 Sportback Prestige model -- and to advocate for pay equality.

That’s right: The brand’s ninth Super Bowl ad, a 60-second spot called “Daughter”, will air during the third quarter and, according to Audi, tells the story of a young girl competing in a downhill race in as her father looks on, contemplating whether her worth will be measured by her gender.

“It is a reminder that progress doesn’t belong to any one group,” the brand said. “Progress is for everyone.”

“With ‘Daughter,’ Audi continues to push the envelope with compelling storytelling on a national platform. Pay equality is a big message for a big stage,” said Loren Angelo, vice president of marketing at Audi of America, in a statement. “As a business built on bold innovation – from LED lighting to Audi quattro – progress is at the heart of what we do. We’re a brand that’s ahead of the curve and looking towards the future, just like our next generation of buyers.”

What’s more, Audi said it has publicly pledged to support “women’s pay equality in the workplace and to foster a work environment that drives equality for all employees.” In addition, Audi said it has instituted an internship program in which 50% of enrollment must be female, which helps establish greater equality for its future workforce.

“The company also supports external initiatives to develop opportunities for women at the educational, career and leadership levels in art and film, STEM, and business that will inspire and secure the next generation of female leaders,” the brand said. “Already this year, the brand collaborated with longtime partner AFI FEST to create the Audi Fellowship scholarship program, which will grant one promising female director AFI Conservatory enrollment. Audi has been the official automotive sponsor of AFI FEST for over 14 years.”

And perhaps in part because of the provocative Super Bowl message, the spot had more than 1.3 million views on YouTube the first day it was posted.

Audi is encouraging consumers to use the hashtag #DriveProgress and said it will launch a custom Snapchat filter encouraging fans to participate in the #DriveProgress conversation as well.

“Engaging creative combined with actions to engage the socially active audience has been signature to the brand's actions by being the first brand to use a hashtag in a game day commercial in 2011 to allowing consumers to select the final ending in 2012,” the brand added in a release.

Its Super Bowl 50 spot, Commander, came in at a respectable #8 in the 2016 Ad Meter.

Venables Bell & Partners created the 2017 ad, which was directed by Aoife McArdle.

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