Monday, February 08, 2010
The Green Police
This was the only Superbowl commercial that caught my attention last night, and boy did it ever.
What the Hell does it mean? My first reaction was note to self: never, even if you can ever afford it, buy an Audi, ever. But then I thought, maybe its depiction of an environmentalist police state is a parody of over-the-top eco-mania. (Note that, in the second shot of the eco roadblock vignette, one of the cops seems to be using a contraband-sniffing aardvark.) If so, it misfired as far as I'm concerned.
I know, I know, their main message is that buying their car will be proof of your environmentalist virtue, but this seems like a creepy way to say that.
Here is an analogy: (Hat-tip to a commenter on Hit and Run) In a movie set in the holocaust, the protagonist is in a death camp, mayhem and death is all around him. Just as it seems it is his turn to be killed, the Kommandant summons him to his office: "We have discovered you are not a Jew after all. You are free to go." He walks out of the camp smiling: happy ending. Obviously, the makers of such a movie do not appreciate how evil the holocaust was. Similarly, the makers of this add do not seem to appreciate the oppressiveness of the behavior they are depicting in it.
BTW, note that the bit about the incandescent bulb is barely fictional. I love the warm, true, continuous-spectrum light of incandescent bulbs and loathe the cold, false, jagged-spectrum light of fluorescent sources, and that I suppose is another reason I'm not in the mood to laugh at this.
Uptdate: Evidence of satirical intent: it turns out the firm that made the commercial is based in San Francisco, where it actually is illegal to put an orange rind in your sink (because you're supposed to compost it). That doesn't necessarily mean the ad is coherent and not-creepy, though. See the comments thread, below.