What were the intentions behind Audi’s “Green Police” commercial?

10 02 2010

Audi’s bizarre green police commercial was aired during this week’s superbowl final halftime.  As most people even outside the US know, superbowl halftime is super-valuable commercial time and big companies such as Budweiser attempt to impress the public with entertaining ads. 

I saw the Audi ad  yesterday on the net and really didn’t know what to make of it.  It seemed like it was satire at first but then an Audi car was promoted as a way of avoiding the “green police” – thus contradicting any satirical message.  I just thought it was confused like so much pop culture these days.   

My only qualm with Audi to date was I have the impression the cars have a history of poor weight distribution.  By placing the heaviest part of the car as near to the front as possible, you unavoidably impact handling ability – although to be fair I think Audis are catching up to BMWs and Mercs on handling these days.  Basically I view (perhaps wrongly) Audi as focusing more on luxury than on driving performance, and for me, driving performance wins out every time.  I enjoy driving and I value safety.  In terms of luxury, as long as I’ve got a stereo and an air con, I’m more than satisfied. 

Anyway, Michelle Malkin has an interesting post on the Audi commercial.  She concludes by saying,

“Audi’s bottom-line corporate message is that the Green State is here to stay and that capitulating to it — and capitalizing on it, as Audi has — is the path to survival.

It’s no laughing matter, really.”

Many companies fall into the trap of advocate for more government controls without seeing the bigger picture.  eg/ Pharmaceutical companies lobbying for government subsidies to medications, or Walmart supporting Obama’s health care bomb. 
These days the green obsession is everywhere and companies are bending over backwards to satisfy the public and politicians.  I work for a multi-national company that is no different.  As I speak I have just been emailed (for the second time this week) instructions on “how to be green”.  I’m sick to death of the green obsession based on “faith science” or simply “Red hot lies“.  It seems that Audi is also no different, not that I would expect otherwise. 

Businesses do not have a choice to a certain degree.  They don’t make the rules of the game (legislation and business regulations).  In addition, they need to market their products to an ignorant, authority addicted public.  Busissmen don’t have time to research environmentalism or philosophy and end up getting sucked in like most people. 

However what business executives usually don’t realise, is that they themselves may benefit short term from certain regulations, but long term they too will generally suffer because government intervention weakens productivity and prosperity.  And a damaged economy doesn’t help anyone.

I am reminded of one of my favourite Ayn Rand lines:  “I mean a full, pure, uncontrolled, unregulated laissez-faire capitalism—with a separation of state and economics, in the same way and for the same reasons as the separation of state and church” “The Objectivist Ethics,” The Virtue of Selfishness,



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