Don’t let Bechdel pass you by.
It’s kinda unfair of me to pick on this billboard, because it’s likely in-house dealer-led creative, and therefore was always destined to be crap. But it’s right near my house, and it makes me involuntarily shake my fist at it every time I pass it, so: pick on it I shall!
We see a gorgeous woman crossing the road from the perspective of a driver’s window. “Woman” might be a stretch: with her gingham school-girl style dress and coy gaze, she looks barely legal. And in conjunction with the headline here, I’m guessing “barely legal” might have been the USP.
As if the objectified school-girl wasn’t obvious enough, the Audi marketing team added a double-entendre-headline cherry on top: “Don’t let it pass you by”.
Prey tell, don’t let *what* pass us by? A piece of skirt the chance to have a peaceful walk to school? The opportunity to try out your full suite of cat-calls? The once-in-a-lifetime moment for this girl to get some of your sweet sweet D?
Objectification of women in advertising is hardly new. But this billboard isn’t just in the line of sight of its pervy, sad target market; real school kids pass by this billboard on their way to school. What else could they take away from this billboard other than “Driving an Audi will get me nameless, compliant, objectifiable babes”?
The only person that would think this ad presented a persuasive reason to buy an Audi is a middle-aged male marketing manager with probable stamina issues, childhood emasculation trauma, and likely ownership of an un-ironic MAGA cap.
This billboard doesn’t just fail the Campaign Bechdel test, it fails the global Audi brand, and the advertising industry over all. Now I’ve got that off my chest, I’m off to spray paint a flaccid penis on this thing. Bye!