By Catherine Maier
In light of the Super Bowl and the commercials that viewers tend to pay as much attention to as the game itself, I thought I would take the time to reflect on one that I found particularly enlightening. The commercial is a “a story of a young girl competing in a downhill cart race in her hometown. As the fearless daughter weaves her way through a field of competitors, her father contemplates whether his daughter’s worth will be measured by her gender through a series of provocative questions. It is a reminder that progress doesn’t belong to any one group. Progress is for everyone.” After seeing the commercial is when I wanted to see how it was that Audi described the story. It was so powerful in conveying the gender inequality that seems to still infiltrate our culture. The most powerful aspect of this description was the aspect on progress. I found it very moving how they touched on progress as not pertaining to any one group, but that it is a rather fluid process that we are all engaging in together. Audi strategically chose to relate progress for equal pay for equal work to the progress that they make and have made as a car manufacturer. Using this commercial as a medium to reach viewers, they were able to convey they opinion and commitment to this issue regarding equal pay while also providing viewers with an emotionally compelling minute in which they were then driven to consider what it is they just saw.
As a female viewer, I think I may have been more inclined to think that this was such a powerful commercial because historically, women on average are paid less than men for the same work. The commercial itself was very well done. We get an idea of the context for the commercial, then drawn into the experience of this man’s daughter racing a car that they have both been working on, while also contemplating some of the more stereotypical issues that infiltrate society while simultaneously addressing a real issue regarding equal pay. After re-watching the commercial several times, I began to have an appreciation for all that goes into a one minute commercial and the hundreds of shots and views that are considered to deliver a powerful and emotional experience in one minute. Also, the choice of words, and succinctness of the commercial is what allows the viewer to formulate their own take on it and either opt to “buy in” or not.
There is an article on Refinery29 as well as other sites, many of which are sharing a similar feeling regarding the commercial. You can read more to check it out, but just like film, I think it is important to consider how it is that these messages or stories that are being conveyed are truly being enacted or not, and formulating your own opinion is essential.