Venables Bell & Partners, Audi Get Political in Big Game Ad

By Erik Oster 

Last year, Venables Bell & Partners channeled space travel for Audi with its “Commander” Super Bowl spot set to David Bowie‘s “Starman.” This year the agency crafted a spot  concerned with more worldly issues, specifically a father-daughter relationship and income inequality.

“What do I tell my daughter?” opens the voiceover from the father, as a soapbox derby race begins. He asks if he’ll have to tell her that “she will automatically be valued as less than any man she ever meets,” as she makes her way through the race, gradually passing other racers along the way to the finish line. “Or maybe, I’ll be able to tell her something different,” he concludes, followed by Audi of America’s pledge that the company is “committed to equal pay for equal work.” The line “Progress is For Everyone” then ties the message to the brand’s “#DriveProgress” tagline.

Notably, the brand isn’t featured into the spot until the father and daughter get into his Audi 2018 S5 Sportback at the conclusion of the spot. That’s a pretty big departure from last year, when the Audi Audi R8 V10 drove the action of the spot. This time around, VB+P and Audi are relying instead on aligning the brand with a progressive cause during a difficult political climate and tugging on viewer’s heartstrings. While it may exaggerate a bit to get its point across, the spot’s message is a timely and powerful one following the 2016 presidential election.

“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,” Audi of America vice president, marketing Loren Angelo told Adweek. “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 toward the future, just like our next generation of buyers.”

Asked about pay equity at Audi, Angelo said, “There is a lot that goes into calculating pay—individual performance, experience or tenure in the job, etc. But we are confident in our processes for evaluating pay equality and can confirm equal pay for equal work between men and women.”

Client Name: Audi Of America

Agency: Venables Bell & Partners
Founder, Chairman: Paul Venables
Executive Creative Director: Will Mcginness
Creative Director: Justin Moore
Associate Creative Director: Allison Hayes
Copywriter: Mike Mcguire
Copywriter: Kathy Hepinstall
Director Of Integrated Production: Craig Allen
Senior Producer: Matt Flaker
Head Of Brand Management: David Corns
Group Brand Director: Chris Bergen
Brand Supervisor: Justin Wang
Brand Manager: Abu Ngauja
Group Strategy Director: Tonia Lowe
Director Of Business Affairs: Quynh-Ahn Phan
Project Manager: Leah Murphy

Production Company: Somesuch + Anonymous Content
Director: Aoife McArdle
Executive Producers: Nicky Barnes, Sally Campbell
Ep / Production: Sueellen Clair
Head Of Production: Kerry Haynie
Producer: Grace Bodie

Editing Company: Work Editorial
Editor: Stewart Reeves
Assistant Editor: Josh Sasson, Erik Vogt-Nilsen
Executuive Producer: Marlo Baird
Producer: Lynne Mannino

Music Company: Human
Music Composer: John Christopher Barnes
Creative Director: Craig Deleon
Executive Producer: Jonathan Sanford

Sound Design/Final Mix: Lime Studios
Sound Designer: Matt Miller
Mix: Matt Miller
Assistant Mixer: Peter Lapinski
Executive Producer: Susie Boyajan
Associate Producer: Kayla Phungglan

VFX Studio: Electric Theatre Collective
Creative Director: Adam Watson
VFX Supervisor: Adam Watson
2D Artists: Adam Watson, Tommy Smith, Dave Damant, Jessenia Nauta
CG Lead: Corinne Deorsay
CG Artists: Corinne Deorsay, Nate Lapinski, Remi Dessinges, Steve Beck
EP: Kate Hitchings
VFX Producer: Catherine Yi

Color Correction: Company 3
Colorist: Stefan Sonnenfeld
Senior Producer: Katie Andrews