Every potential bride needs a good inspection, just like a used car — at least, that’s what we think Audi is trying to say with this tone-deaf commercial for China. Branding, folks. Here’s what not to do.
If you somehow missed the tone there, this advertisement is so bad that it’ll make you want to crawl back into bed, close your eyes and hope for a less sexist tomorrow. It also gets worse every time you watch it.
It’s also hilarious that the entire premise of the ad, sexist or not, kind of sucks. The ad starts with the groom’s mother interrupting the wedding ceremony to inspect the bride, checking whether she’s up to standard. She then grabs the bride’s nose and ears, pinches her lower lip and peers at her teeth and tongue. Annoyingly, the bride gets an OK — along with an extra warning to cover up her cleavage.
It’s an ad from Ogilvy & Mather Beijing promoting used Audis that have been checked out and officially certified for resale. “An important decision must be made carefully,” the tagline says. But the internet was not having it.
— Julie (@Jujulubee) July 21, 2017
Audi Sorry For Stupid Chinese Ad https://t.co/a7oQzuEQY3
— Jim Hjerpe (@jameshjerpe) July 21, 2017
The ad was surprising given that Audi has made campaigns tackling gender stereotypes a centerpiece in markets from Spain to the U.S. One social commenter contrasted the Chinese spot to Audi’s messaging during the Super Bowl, about equal pay for women.
“Audi in China regards women as secondhand cars,” the commenter wrote on Weibo. “But Audi in the U.S. encourages women to believe in themselves, to realize their potential and to get the same pay as men.” He then urges Audi to “think about its mistakes.”
It is unclear whether this will tarnish the Volkswagen Group’s reputation, but the question remains: Is any publicity good publicity? Still. What’s up, China?