Audi's new ad takes a dig at self-driving cars

Spot directed by Craig Gillespie looks back on a more idyllic time

Published On
Apr 25, 2018

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It has not been a great year for self-driving tech, with the industry taking an image hit after an Uber self-driving car struck and killed a pedestrian in March. There are less serious concerns about autonomous cars, namely that they could rob people of the thrill of driving.

That notion is at the center of a new futuristic Audi ad that shows a man longing for days gone by in which he actually drove. He finally breaks free and jumps into a 2018 R8 Spyder, after wistfully recalling days driving older Audi vehicles, like the 1984 Audi quattro coupe and 2000 Audi TT. The spot is by Venables Bell & Partners and directed by Craig Gillespie, whose film credits include "I, Tonya."

Of course Audi, like most major car brands, is simultaneously working on self-driving tech. In a 2016 interview, Loren Angelo, VP of marketing at Audi of America, told Ad Age that the driver won't vanish from its advertising even if Audi eventually reaches full autonomy. "We believe that as a brand, it's part of our positioning," he said. "We know our owners and the people who love our brand love to drive."