“Bravery It’s What Defines Us”- A Marxist Analysis
The 2013 SuperBowl commercials were somewhat predictable. Due to the targeted audience being male, commercials focused on cars, food, beer, and women as props. The advertisement under analysis will be the Audi 2013 SuperBowl commercial, analyzed through the Marxist Perspective. It narrates a boy who embarks on one of the most pivotal moments of his adolescence: “Prom Night.” This commercial depicts a middle class family and their handsome young son going to prom by himself. By driving his father’s luxurious Audi, he gains confidence. He cruises to the school and parks in the principal’s spot. He then marches into prom, grabs the arm of the prom queen and kisses her without obtaining consent. After, we see him with a silly grin on his face, despite having been given a black eye by the prom king. The prom queen is shown smiling somewhat in the aftermath. According to Marxist Theorists, a Preferred Reading is the easiest, most obvious common sense interpretation of a popular culture text. (Sellnow 73) Therefore under the Preferred Reading Perspective, Audi’s SuperBowl commercial titled “Prom” features their fine automobiles, but more than that, it’s depicts a “feel good” story as its narrative. Viewers root for the underdog, and in the end he seizes the girl, the car, and the confidence.
What this boy felt like doing at that particular moment is more important than whether or not the prom queen wants to be kissed. She appears to be in a relationship with someone else, and there is no implication offered in this commercial that this is something she would want. It turns out that she happened to be okay with the forced contact in the end, thereby justifying his actions to himself. The commercial closes with, “Bravery. It’s what defines us.” The word for just walking up to a woman and kissing her without her consent is apparently, “bravery.” This is what Marxist critics refer to as an Occluded Preferred Reading. Embedded within what seems to be at least on the surface an oppositional message. (Sellnow 74) Therefore the corporate branding strategy that Audi used in the Occluded Preferred Reading Method is: gain confidence, forcibly kiss a girl, it will feel good, and she will like it.
Hegemony is the privileging of a dominant groups ideology over that of other groups. For example: Men are more empowered than women. (Sellnow 72) According to the Washington Post, an ad during the Super Bowl cost $3.5 million for thirty seconds. (Lawson) This is what the prestigious Audi Automobile Company decides to spend their money on. Simply put, Audi supports the interests of those in power. Their message is you gain power and confidence when you drive an Audi. In regard to the Audi commercial, forcing oneself on a woman and unwanted sexual contact is deemed acceptable. The forced contact is not only okay, but also a great thing and sends the further message that women want this. Movies, television and pop culture images showcase men who are persistent and chase women without their consent. Their actions in the end aren’t rewarded by an arrest for stalking but instead with the object of their desire.
Audi 2013 SuperBowl Commercial:
Lawson, Corrina. “Audi SuperBowl Commercial Fail: Sexual Assault is Good!.” WIRED. GEEKMOM, 04 Feb 2013. Web. 8 Feb 2013. .
Sellnow, Deanna. A Marxist Perspective. 1ST Edition. Thousand Oaks California: SAGE Publications, Inc., 2010. 72. Print.
Sellnow, Deanna. A Marxist Perspective. 1ST Edition. Thousand Oaks California: SAGE Publications, Inc., 2010. 73. Print.
Sellnow, Deanna. A Marxist Perspective. 1ST Edition. Thousand Oaks California: SAGE Publications, Inc., 2010. 74. Print.