Audi, the German premium car maker has been criticized for being insensitive by running a commercial with a girl eating a banana in front of a car.
The picture looks harmless — it depicts a nice photo of a cute kid, innocently eating a banana in front of a car – The Audi RS 4 Avant.
The caption that Audi slapped on it is “Lets your heart beat faster – in every aspect.”
Most people were puzzled – What on earth is Audi trying to say? What in this picture is meant to make your heart beat faster in any aspect? Much less in every aspect?
Heart beating faster = a fear or excitement response? But this is just a picture of a kid leaning against a car eating a banana. Where is the catch.
An observer speculated that “with the addition of the caption, I can sort of understand why people were questioning whether there’s a hidden meaning implied, and speculating wildly about what that meaning was (Your heart beats faster because the girl is in danger – is she about to be run over? Or because she’s an object of desire? What?) The obvious step is to speculate as to what’s hidden, because the caption doesn’t make the least bit of sense on the surface.”
Another popular opinion is that Audi were simply careless. They had come up with a slogan for the car alone, which was awkward in the first place but was meant to imply that it was exciting to drive, to own or whatever. Also they had a cute photo featuring that same car. They put them together, and no-one looked at the result and said: hang on guys, our slogan makes absolutely no sense when paired with that photo.
In fact, it just looks weird. How about we leave it off this time and just post the photo? So, Audi let loose the advert through the media in a rush.
One theory suggesi that Audi knew what they were doing. They engineered a bit of ambiguous controversy, something which they could quickly back down from, in order to generate lattention on social media. And everyone knows that attention on social media is good for business.
While we all agree that brands sometimes deliberately manufacture ‘controversies’ to bring attention to a product, many people think this one is just too weird, no brand would deliberately associate their product with endangering a child
It later turns out that the connection was supposed to be with the Audi Pre-Sense security system of cameras and sensors that helps prevent you from running over kids, pets, pedestrians, and so forth. Your kid can safely hang out around the car and you will know she’s there even if you can’t actually see her.
There was no explanation for the banana.
Audi later apologized for the advert.
Its official Twitter account said:
“We hear you and let’s get this straight: We care for children.
“We sincerely apologise for this insensitive image and ensure that it will not be used in future.”