Don’t insult my intelligence, Audi

I went to a sports bar-type place to get my lunch today (don’t judge me, they make a good sesame chicken salad), the kind of place ringed by TVs on every available wall surface, and while I was waiting for my food, my eye was caught by this ad for the Audi Q5. It’s cinematic and chock full of plot, and completely stupid.


Here’s the part that gets my goat:

Agent: …And, a perfectly inconspicuous SUV. [Slides picture of Lexus RX350, in “I paid extra to show how much I’ve given up” gold, across table.] You must become invisible.

Mr. Stevens: [Thinks about his “I’m leasing this thing so I’m not paying extra or risking the dealer’s resale with a color” black Audi Q5.] I’ll take my chances. [Zooms away across a CGI landscape.]

Seriously, Audi?

Okay, we started off in an almost-plausible direction. Nothing screams “don’t look at me” quite like a beige Toyota product, even a new RX, if only because there’s so damn many of them. But the RX is eye-searingly not invisible, as much as I and my fellow (sub)urban beautification zealots might wish it were.

You want invisible? How about a car that, despite being entirely new, looks exactly like its predecessor, which was on the market for eight years. How about a car that’s so soapstone-smooth it lacks any distinguishing feature besides a cartoonishly oversized grille, which, incidentally, the Lexus also has. How about any freaking crossover at all?

This ad would have made a lot more sense if Mr. Stevens was flashing back to zooming around in Audi’s TT (which the company seems to put zero effort into advertising) or the pretty—but also indistinguishable from its predecessor—new A5 coupe, or even one of its anti-crossover S or RS sedans, but rejecting a Lexus RX for an Audi Q5 is like passing up boloney on white bread for boloney on a white hamburger bun.

Don’t insult me, Audi.


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