Television Ad Analysis- Audi “Prom”

By: Patrick O’Shea

Audi released a commercial in 2013 during the Super Bowl, trying to promote the theme of bravery. It lasts a minute, which made it cost a projected $8 million to put on air. The context of the commercial is prom and a teenage boys adventure of the night when he dares to do something extremely brave.

The commercial starts out with a nervous teenage boy looking at his reflection in disappointment. He’s getting ready to go to prom, but is unfortunately going alone. His dad throws him the keys to his Audi telling him to have a good time. This is when the teenage boys mood totally changes. He builds confidence the closer he gets to the prom and his empowered enough to kiss the prom queen. He receives a black eye from what the audience guesses is the prom king. However, he ends up being very proud of himself, yelling out of joy in his car.

When looking at the commercial in an analytical manner, the semiotics can be represented mainly through the car. Once the teenager is in possession of the Audi, an immediate feeling of confidence surges through him. This way, the car itself symbolizes confidence and bravery. With each mile he travels and gets closer to the prom, his courage that he endured gradually increases. Once the teenager arrives at the prom, he parks the Audi in the “principal only” parking lot spot. This represents that no figure that’s higher than him can break his confidence and he has the power to do what he pleases. His unshakable confidence makes him unconcerned with the consequences he might face if his car is found in the wrong parking lot spot. The last example of semiotics is the symbolism of when the boy kisses the girl of his dreams. Without any hesitation, he walks up the dance floor and confronts the prom queen with everybody watching, including the prom king. His yelling in happiness at the ending scene represents how good he feels compared to the beginning of the commercial, as he drives away with his black eye that he received from the prom king.

Audi made this commercial to appeal to what seems like young men. The goal of this commercial for Audi was to influence people that having this car will give you the confidence to make courageous decisions. Although it may not work for some people, the commercial could definitely intrigue others into buying it. Psychoanalytically, the person watching the commercial may think that this car will make them look like a badass. With the music, the roar of the engine, the cool black look of the car, and the girls that notice the teenage boy, it catches the attention of the audience. It makes them want to be noticed too and have the courage to do things such as kiss the pretty girl. It may not be directly correlated to the same situation such as getting the girl you like, but will give you bravery to do bold things in general.

Current society is displayed in this commercial throughout the minute it is displayed that reinforces the status quo. It shows what seems to be a middle class family that can afford the Audi. It shows that even a family of four, and people throughout the world can afford the car. The background shows a modern city while the teenage boy is driving.

Throughout its history, Audi has focused on making the highest quality car it can.  Each car has its own appealing design with the newest technology, making it appealing to consumers in its whole history of being company.  Semiotics, psychoanalysis, and political economy are all enforced in various ways in this Audi commercial that can all add to the appeal to consumers. It focuses more than anything on how the car will make you brave. Audi tries to argue that any owner of this car will get attention and will be able to make brave decisions.  The commercial displays a “feel good” story in which the audience roots for the underdog.

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