AUDI QUATTRO

Travel broadens the mind, it’s said. Maybe so, but aforeign locale can also reveal us at our most parochial. Following an American woman’s automotive ramble through North Africa, this campaign displays some of the latter element. “Entering a new world, June 1,” she narrates in one spot as she wheels into a town where the sight of a fire-breathing man is accompanied by the sound of ululating women. “I didn’t pass one road sign today, or meet one person who could put me in the right direction. I hope every day is like this.” Look, it’s nice she’s having an adventurous jaunt, but need we ignore the fact that she’s surrounded by fellow human beings, including some who likely speak intelligible languages and could give her directions? By pretending otherwise, the spot reduces the locals to the status of props—veiled, henna-stained exotics who are fun to gape at but with whom we have nothing in common. Obviously, there’s no intent to demean these folks. But the camera is so fixated on their otherness that we’re moved to regard them as an alien species. This stems from the implicit theme of the narrative: Isn’t it marvelous that I, a solo American woman, am braving a trip through this utterly foreign place? In fact, the campaign is most appealing when we see she’s not so solitary after all—drawing water from a well with several women, orsipping mint tea with some grizzled men. It’s weakest when she’s isolated inside her car, invariably with the windows rolled up tight. When the camera shows her motoring past a bus on a desert road, I find myself wishing she’d left the Quattro at home and taken the bus herself.Agency

McKinney & Silver, Raleigh, N.C.

Client

Audi of America, Auburn Hills, Mich.

Exec. Creative Director

David Baldwin

Art Director

Bob Ranew

Copywriter

Christopher Wilson

Agency Producer

Cynthia Dionne

Production Company

Anonymous, New York and Culver City, Calif.

Director

Andrew DouglasAgency

Cramer/Krasselt, Chicago

Client

Spiegel Catalog,

Downers Grove, Ill.

Creative Director

Marshall Ross

Art Director

Diana Morison

Copywriter

Christine Montaquila

Photography

Gentl & Hyers,

New York