Audi of America will skip airing an ad this year, following the practice of fielding an ad all but one of the last ten years. It appears to be one of several car manufacturers including Honda, Mercedes-Benz, General Motors and Ford who are believed to be sitting out the game.
Ad Age has reported that the brand had remained one of the few returning brands that had yet to confirm its presence during the game, though a spokeswoman from the brand finally did so to the marketing publication Friday.
“[The] Super Bowl and the NFL remain important platforms for reaching our customers. This year, we’re focusing our marketing efforts later in the year when our new models reach the market,” she said in an email to Ad Age editors.
Last year’s ad “Daughter” was a spot that focused on equal pay for women. Using the #DriveProgress hashtag, the same seen on the all-female run Audi R8 LMS GT4 in Daytona last week, the spot followed a young girl contesting a soap box derby and highlighted the then just-introduced S5 Sportback.
The ad met a mixed reception. In the heated days following the Presidential election, it may have been seen as taking a side. Others on social media criticized the brand’s (German) executive team that lacked females, even though the Audi of America who produced it is a progressive player in the field.
Regardless of the criticism, the ad netted Audi a third place slot in USA Today’s Super Bowl Ad Meter. It also met its fair share of social media praise, including retweets by Sheryl Sandberg and Ashton Kutcher according to Audi of America’s marketing chief Loren Angelo.
To read more on this subject, visit AdAge.com for a full story on the subject of car manufacturers and this year’s Big Game.