Audi’s Feminist Super Bowl Ad Is a Father-Daughter Tale About Equal Pay

Automaker is out to #DriveProgress

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Audi aired one of the best ads of 2016 in a political environment—the flashy but lighthearted “Duel” spot played on the nights of all three presidential debates last year.

Now, for the Super Bowl, the automaker is getting political in a more pointed way, by supporting a progressive cause—pay equality—and promoting it with a father-daughter story from Venables Bell & Partners.

The 60-second commercial, “Daughter,” which pushes the Audi 2018 S5 Sportback vehicle at the end, will air during the third quarter of Sunday’s Super Bowl on Fox. This is Audi’s ninth appearance on the game.

See the spot here:

It might seem odd for an automaker to use 60 seconds on the Super Bowl to push a progressive political cause seemingly unrelated to selling cars. But Audi says the notion of progress is at the core of its brand—and indeed, the spot uses the hashtag #DriveProgress as a way to cement that idea.

“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, vp of marketing at Audi of America. “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.”

"We're a brand that's ahead of the curve and looking toward the future, just like our next generation of buyers."
Loren Angelo, vp of marketing at Audi of America

On the topic of pay equality, the brand says: “Audi of America is committed to supporting pay equality, inclusivity, and the growth and development of all employees. The company has publicly pledged to support ongoing commitment to women’s pay equality in the workplace and to foster a work environment that drives equality for all employees. Audi also instituted a graduate internship program where 50 percent of enrollment must be female, establishing greater equality for our future workforce.”

Asked specifically whether Audi itself has equal pay among its workforce, 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.”

Fittingly, daughter was directed by a woman, Aoife McArdle, who has also handled several spots in Wieden + Kennedy’s politically minded Secret campaign—including this one that’s also about equal pay.

The voiceover is by Peter Jessop, an actor whose voice is often mistaken for George Clooney’s.

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

@nudd Tim Nudd is a former creative editor of Adweek.