With close to 112 million people glued to the Super Bowl, the adverts in between offer the ultimate opportunity for companies to shout about their products. This year while Audi used the break in proceedings to promote their new S5 Sportback, the company also used the platform to make an important statement about gender pay equality.
In the short film, titled Daughter, the German car manufacturer depicts a girl racing against boys in a go-kart competition while her father asks how he should explain the fact that women continue to get paid less than men.
“What do I tell my daughter?” the father asks in the commercial. “Do I tell her that her grandpa is worth more than her grandma? That her dad is worth more than her mum?”
“Do I tell her that despite her education, her drive, her skills, her intelligence, she will automatically be valued as less than every man she ever meets?” he continues.
“Or maybe I’ll be able to tell her something different.”
In a press release announcing the new commercial, Audi explains its commitment to “supporting pay equality, inclusivity, and the growth and development of all employees.” The release goes on to say that “The company has publically pledged to support ongoing commitment to women’s pay equality in the workplace and to foster a work environment that drives equality for all employees.”
Since viewing the advert has had somewhat of a mixed response on social media. Some offered praise to Audi for sharing such a positive gender equality message.
“Aaaah this Audi USA commercial on equal pay is every single freaking excellent thing in the world,” tweeted one woman.
“Omg this Audi commercial addressing sexism has got me feeling all the feels,” adding another.
“Thank you, @Audi for using this platform to advocate for #EqualPay. Women are NOT worth less,” wrote another woman.
But while many were quick to praise the company’s stance, some weren’t quite so impressed.
“Way to go @Audi – making the dumbest ad yet. The wage gap is false. It’s illegal to pay women less. Equal pay act 1963,” one man wrote.
“Audi was a lot better when their message was ‘buy this amazing car’, and not dabbling into wage politics,” added another.
Others pointed out that of the 14 people on the company’s executive board, only two are women and there are no women currently on Audi’s management board.
“It’s sad when companies use causes they don’t promote to promote. Wouldn’t it be great if they practiced this preaching?” wrote one man.
Latest figures from the Office for National Statistics showed that the gender pay gap in the UK for full-time workers was 9.4%, rising to 18.1% for all employees. So whether you love or loathe the advert or believe that Audi should stick to selling cars rather than ruffling feathers, it’s pretty clear that something has to be done to redress the balance.
What do you think of the advert? Let us know @YahooStyleUK