Audi’s Green Police: green advertising or green washing

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“Because his surname was already in use and was protected by trademark, he chose its Latin translation for the new company. So "Horch!" – or "Hark" – became "Audi!” (Audi Website) The story of Audi begins in 1899 with August Horch, the founder of Horch & Cie in Cologne. There, he built his first car. Nowadays, the Audi Group considerably increased its car production from 1,150,018 to 1,469,205 vehicles, especially thanks to effective communication strategies and advertising campaigns that resulted on a positive demand increase. One of the ad that grabbed attention is the environmental focused one based on the “Green Police” idea and created by the company in 2010. Likewise, the ad permits to reflect on the issue of green washing, “Green washing is disinformation disseminated by an organization so as to present an environmentally responsible public image.”(Oxford dictionary) As a matter of fact, I will analyze if the Audi’s ad is a truthful example of green advertising commitment, that is a specific type of advertising centered on the promotion of environmental issues by companies that act through environmentally friendly operations, (Andersen) or if Audi’s intent was just to mislead the audience and green wash possible customers.
Firstly, to show their position they made strong ads based on the idea of a “Green Police” department, (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ml54UuAoLSo) in which the audience could humorously understand the need of having certain habits towards the environment. Moreover, the one-minute video is driven by a reflection on the society of consumerism and so on environmental ideologies as the critique on unrestrained instrumentalism. Nonetheless, as Corbett explains in her book, environmental ideologies are ways in which we think about the natural world that then, we exploit to give a reason for our actions on it. By defining unrestrained instrumentalism, one may explain that is a belief in which the world rotates around humans, and its natural resources are there to be used. In fact, the ad opens with a middle-aged man at the supermarket who chooses a plastic bag, instead of a paper bag, so the Green Policeman catches him. “You picked the wrong day to mess with the ecosystem, plastic boy.” (Green Policeman) Furthermore, the Audi ad is promoting conservationism: the need to conserve some natural resources for future generations. The ad shows examples of which human behaviors are negative for the environment, as a wealthy man who is using high energy bulbs, and then, Audi gives the consumer the option of cooperating and conserving the environment by buying their new car regulated by the ‘clean diesel’ concept and so, approved by the Green Police, who, at the end, let go the man out of the traffic jam. “You're good to go, sir.” (Green Policeman)
To express these environmental ideologies, Audi plays with the Cornucopian discourse. In this case, a discourse is a way to talk about the environment (class lecture) and, being...

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