This 2013 “Season of Audi Sales Event” ad, called “Donation,” shows customers ridding themselves of their luxury cars by donating them, tossing their keys into something like a Salvation Army donation bucket. Our good friend and JM&C alum Heidi Woodard of Maternal Media called this ad to our attention, writing “Oh, the hardships of people who have working cars, but would rather upgrade to a more ridiculously priced automobile by ‘donating’ their keys to the red kettle.” This ad seems to be rather insensitive to the needs of the poor or disadvantaged, insofar as it seems to say that what they need is not money (or other forms of help), but the keys to discarded luxury cars, cars that seem to be perfectly fine. Taken in this light, the ad seems to poke fun by saying to the disadvantaged, “Oh, you need my help? OK, here—take the keys to my Lexus; I don’t want it anymore because I just saw a sweet Audi. So here—take it.” I must admit that I’ve long had a problem with Christmas-related automobile advertising—so much of it seems like over-the-top consumerism. What do you think of Audi’s ad? Does it belittle the poor? Does it perpetuate a fundamental misunderstanding of their needs? What do you think?
Does Audi’s Ad Belittle the Poor?