Football fans are finalizing their Super Bowl 50 party plans, which will undoubtedlyÂ includeÂ copious amounts of heart-clogging edibles and liquids that might beÂ confused forÂ beer.
At the same time, Audi is tapping its foot in anticipation. The automaker will air aÂ 60-second Super Bowl spotÂ in an effort to get theÂ attention of those cod-lager-swillingÂ football fans watchingÂ the game next weekend. The price of that 60 seconds of airtime:Â approximatelyÂ 10 million bucks.
Volkswagen’s luxury brand Audi has escaped the diesel emissions PR backlash relatively unscathedÂ â€” and has also beenÂ conspicuouslyÂ quiet as of late. A little too quiet.Â That will change during the Super Bowl â€” and the automakerÂ better have something good to say.
It’s Audi â€” and not Volkswagen â€” that’s most exposed by the group’s cheating 3-liter diesel engines, yet you wouldn’t know itÂ if you were reading any automotive websites over the last coupleÂ months.
Volkswagen Group of America CEO Michael Horn announced aÂ 3-liter TDI Goodwill Package program for Touareg owners, which is a carbon copy of its 2-liter package, during hisÂ address to the press at the Detroit auto show. Audi, for itsÂ part, hasn’t bothered.
In fact, the last communication of substance from Audi came in November, when the automaker admitted to the cheat (after initially denying it) and pledged a fix. Since then: radio silence, with the odd crackle of static.
Audi will fork out $10 million for thatÂ single minute of Super Bowl airtime, plus the priceÂ of producing the commercial itself. Customers may balk at that cash being spent on advertising â€” as they should, considering the lack of compensation those customers haveÂ received while others count their gift cards. Thankfully, Volkswagen nor Porsche will be showing ads this year, thus eliminating another reason for rabid TDI fans to complain more than they already have.
Therefore, the entire weight of Volkswagen’s diesel shenanigans restsÂ on Audi’s shoulders â€” albeit, for a weekend. And if AudiÂ doesn’t have something important to say, itsÂ customers certainly will.