February 5, 2013 / Media - Marketing & Advertising, News

Does Bravery Look Like Assault?


The opinions expressed herein are those of the author, and not necessarily those of The New Agenda.

Super Bowl commercials are among the most talked about advertisements of the year. Some companies do better than others with their ads. There were a few ads I liked, a few I didn’t, and one that really bothered me.

This is the commercial Audi ran during the Super Bowl last night:

The teen boy does not have a date to the prom. He is not feeling very confident, but that is about to change when his dad throws him the keys to his car. Suddenly he is brave. He can march into the dance, grab the prom queen, and kiss her.

Here’s the problem with that: It is not okay to just walk up to people and kiss them. There was nothing in the commercial prior to the kiss that lets us know the prom queen wants to be kissed.

Does she like it? Maybe. Later in the commercial we see a shot of her staring dreamily into space in what might be an indication that she did. But before that happens, the prom king runs over, and gives the boy with the car a black eye.

We have one boy who has a cool car, and is going to take what he wants. We have another boy who is going to stop someone from touching what is his. The girl’s opinion and feelings are ignored. Both boys have taken away her choice – her choice to be kissed, and her choice to possibly enjoy the kiss.

And we are left with the line “Bravery. It’s what defines us.” As if kissing girls without their consent is a brave thing to do.

Audi Prom Commercial

I’m not sure if bravery defines us, or not. But I am sure that bravery does not need to look anything like an assault. Walking up to someone and telling them how you feel is the real brave thing (and you might end up with a kiss about which both parties can be excited).

One last thing. My nine year old daughter was not a fan of the commercial, either. She did not understand what “going to prom, kissing a girl you aren’t dating, and driving home yelling after she punched you,” had to do with a car. I find a bit of solace in the fact my daughter’s immediate reaction was that the prom queen stood up for herself in that moment.