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In addition to a half decent football game, the Super Bowl is also known for its brilliant and lavishly-produced commercials (assuming Canadians can manage to circumvent CRTC rules and receive a U.S. feed of the game, that is. Otherwise, us Canucks are subjected to the lurid lameness that is CTV promo ads.)
Luckily, we now live in the age of YouTube. And by visiting this precious portal, one can watch Super Bowl LXIV's best ad. Namely, Audi's "Green Police" spot - a brilliant send-up of the inconvenient goofs who comprise the overbearing enviro-weenie movement.
Set to the tune of Cheap Trick's 1979 hit, Dream Police, the Green Police spot depicts a near-future wherein environmental cops (many of whom wear short pants and get around in Segways) consistently invade our personal lives by spying, sifting through our trash, and setting up dragnets looking for environmental misbehaviour.
The first citizen arrested is a supermarket customer who has the temerity to ask for a plastic bag. "You picked the wrong day to mess with the eco system, plastic boy," a Green Cop barks as the shell-shocked shopper is cuffed and hustled out the store.
Another man is arrested in his house for not composting an orange peel properly while another hapless fellow is manhandled into the back of a Green Police golf cart for "possession of an incandescent light bulb."
Next up is a fellow relaxing in his hot tub who's arrested because the water temperature is set at 105 F.
The ad ends with an imposing roadblock - an "Eco Check" - set up by the Green Police, who use anteaters to sniff out any environmental vehicular infractions. The only individual waved through the logjam of vehicles is a fellow behind the wheel of a 2010 Audi A3 TDI clean diesel. "You're good to go, sir," a Green Policeman tells him.
The spot concludes with the ivory-hued Audi A3 zooming down the highway, its engine lustily revving. "Green has never felt so right," notes the have-your-cake-and-eat-it-too copy superimposed upon the screen.
While the Audi spot is laugh out loud funny, it also serves as a cautionary tale given we reside in an age of environmental fanaticism. Surely the likes of David Suzuki, Al Gore, Stephane Dion et al would love to see Green Police officers cracking down on everything that makes our lives enjoyable - be it incandescent light bulbs or kickass V8 motors.
Let's hope such a vision never comes to pass. And in the meantime, let's praise Audi's humourous/horrifying wake-up call, which so adroitly skewers those who comprise the Green Gestapo.