Gender equality is something we’re *seriously* passionate about here at marie claire. So when a major corporation like Audi releases an ad with an inspiring, empowering message to 111 million viewers in the US (and millions more globally), that can only be a good thing, right?
Not according to critics and viewers who have slammed the ad - which has drawn significantly more dislikes (61,000) than likes (51,000) on YouTube.
The ad follows a young girl as she races go-carts against boys, while her father (voiced by George Clooney) narrates the action and asks how he is supposed to explain the gender pay gap to his daughter.
"What do I tell my daughter? Do I tell her her grandpa is worth more than her grandma? That her dad is worth more than her mom? 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 meets?"
However after she wins the race, he says, "Or maybe I'll be able to tell her something different."
The ad then ends by saying "Audi of America is committed to equal pay for equal work."
"Progress of for everyone".
Got chills? Us too.
Critics have argued that the German car manufacturer is exploiting gender equality. Some have pointed out that releasing the ad during the Super Bowl is ill-judged given that the National Football League is currently being sued by cheerleaders over pay disputes.
Audi has defended the ad. “Audi is a brand that has always used the creative storytelling platform that the Super Bowl provides to talk about the brand, talk about our position and provide a point of view,” said U.S. marketing director Loren Angelo.
One fan of the ad was none other than Sheryl Sandberg who posted the ad to Facebook praising it as a move in the right direction.
“Love this #SuperBowl ad from Audi USA, which drives home the need for equal pay for women. Now more than ever, we need ads like this which push back on gender stereotypes,” she wrote.
While Audi currently has no female members on its executive board and according to Forbes has only 16% females on it’s Supervisory Board, the company did sign the White House Equal Pay Pledge in 2016 so hopefully following this ad they will lead by example in 2017.