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  • Getting to Green

    An administrator pushes, on a shoestring budget, to move his university and the world toward a more sustainable equilibrium.

Watch more commercials
February 8, 2010 - 5:57pm

OK, you got me. If pretty much the only TV I watch is an occasional movie on HBO, then once again "more" translates into "any". Don't send the language police after me, send the Green Police, instead.

In fact, I wouldn't even have known about Audi's "Green Police" SuperBowl ad, were it not for this post on Grist, an environmental newsletter. The post includes both an embedded YouTube link and an analytic deconstruction of the ad's message and presumptions. In a nutshell, it suggests that Audi is intending to sell cars that get their drivers environmental "get out of jail free" cards. And for that to work, the target audience must already have internalized the legitimacy -- on some level -- of environmental regulation.

Far be it from me to try to outwit Madison Avenue (or wherever it is the creative types hang out these days), but I wonder whether the marketing geniuses are right on this one. Or, if they're right, are they only right about a narrow target demographic (30-50 year old upper-middle and lower-upper class white males with a tendency toward European cars (read "Euro-culture") but without the money to buy Porsches)?

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