After facing criticism on social media when it pre-released its Super Bowl ad ahead of the Super Bowl automotive brand Audi is being praised for the gender pay equality-themed spot it aired during the game.
In the ad, a father watches his daughter in a downhill cart race and thinks about whether she is being judged based on her gender. At the core of the ad is whether she will be paid less than a man, despite her talents.
Some viewers had reacted on social media ahead of the game by lashing out at the car company and criticizing it for allegedly not practicing what was being advocated in the ad.
Social media research firm Networked Insights found that 25% of the comments made across social media sites about the ad were negative ahead of the game, The Wall Street Journal reported.
One YouTube user, JebBlack2010, commented “What do i tell my daughter? That there is this imaginary leftist/feminist wall keeping her from aspiring to be great? Maybe.”
Miranda Harper, Audi’s general manager of communications said ahead of the Super Bowl: “The response we’re seeing on YouTube isn’t indicative of the general conversation on Facebook and Twitter.”
Before the game, Harper said she was expecting a positive response once the ad aired, which was the case, judging by the initial Twitter reaction:
My wife just told me we are buying an Audi. #SuperbowlTweet Embed:
Aaaah this Audi USA commercial on equal pay is every single freaking excellent thing in the world.Tweet Embed:
After the ad’s pre-release, the car company actively engaged with users who were critical of the spot:
@TueborFrog When we account for all the various factors that go into pay, women at Audi are on par with their male counterparts.
No women sit on Audi’s Management Board and its 14 person American executive team only has two women. In the press release for the Super Bowl ad, the car company said it was publicly committed to supporting women’s pay equality and pointed out that half of the candidates for its graduate internship program must be female.
Celebrities and other high profile people, like “Agents of Shield” actress Constance Zimmer came out in support of the ad. Google’s VP of agency and media solutions Tara Walpert Levy even pushed her followers to go on YouTube and show support.