Audi chokes on a bad banana…  ad

On August 2, Audi tweeted this ad:

And the outrage was immediate.

Some were angry that a toddler was out of the driver’s line of sight and was oblivious of the pending danger of being run over. Others were offended by the pedophilia innuendoes of a female child in a leopard print dress consuming a banana. And another crowd felt that Audi was using the sweet little girl to make their RS4 look even more aggressive.

Audi issued an apology IMMEDITELY. Almost too fast. Makes you say, “Hmmmm.”

You’d think a big international brand like Audi would know better. It’s my guess that they do. Think about it, brands both big and small are constantly pushing out content in hopes of gaining a small piece of real estate in their consumers’ heads. What Audi did was pull people in. They presented content that could be viewed as “controversial” in hopes of starting a conversation.

P.T. Barnum said, “There is no such thing as bad publicity.” The Banana Girl ad got people talking. Some were outraged. Others chimed in wondering what the problem was. But one thing was for sure; they were all talking about Audi. Months from now, the reason for the argument will fade, but Audi will be stuck in their grey matter for a very long time.

Maybe it was planned. Maybe Audi had the apologies written before the ad was ever deployed. The fact is the RS4 sure got a lot of attention. And when you think about it, getting someone’s attention is the first step to making them a customer.