- A commercial for the 2014 Audi A6 TDI clean diesel has gone viral.
- The ad, starring Emmy winner Claire Danes, has received more than 3.2 million online views and 10,000 shares on social-media sites.
- The message: Choose an Audi and play with puppies; make the wrong choice and go to jail.
HERNDON, Virginia — A commercial touting the mileage of Audi's 2014 A6 TDI clean diesel, starring Emmy winner Claire Danes, has received more than 3.2 million online views and nearly 10,000 shares on social-media sites.
The 3.5-minute ad, which aired on the 2013 Emmy Awards broadcast, shows Danes — bipolar CIA agent Carrie Mathison on Showtime's hit drama Homeland — having an appropriately split-personality day.
Danes needs to get to New York for a television appearance, but the airport is closed, and it's 670 miles away. An assistant directs her to a chauffeured car saying: "You can relax. Do a little seated yoga. It's you time."
But parked next to the limo is a gleaming white 2014 Audi A6 TDI. At this point, Danes divides into two personae, with one opting for the chauffeured ride and the other sliding into the driver seat of the Audi.
Predictably, things don't go well for Limo Danes. A tire goes flat, and the driver knocks himself unconscious with the tire-iron. A bystander claiming to be a doctor starts to lend assistance, but it turns out she's a psycho. When a police officer shows up she mouths, "Help," and Danes gets dragged off to jail in handcuffs. After being released, she ends up in a dive bar, drowning her sorrows.
This sequence is interspersed with scenes of Audi Danes, who has a much more pleasant day. With a smile on her face, she guides the A6 along twisting two-lane country roads, stops to play with some puppies in an idyllic pasture, and arrives in plenty of time for the show. "You know," she tells a greeter, "I drove almost 700 miles on a single tank."
At this point, the video cuts back to Limo Danes, still in the bar, dejectedly watching her alternate self on TV gliding elegantly onto the stage. The message is clear: Choose the Audi, or go to jail and end up a miserable barfly.
Now for some math: With its 19.3-gallon tank, the A6 TDI's EPA-rated 38 mpg in highway mileage should get her well past the necessary 670 miles. But for Claire's jaunty pastoral ride — stopping for lights, slowing down for hay-balers, and taking a break to cavort with puppies — perhaps the Audi's combined city/highway mileage figure would be more realistic. At that rate, 29 mpg, the star might've only made it 559.7 miles, leaving her short by 110.3 miles. But maybe she's a particularly conservative driver.
Edmunds says: Danes said she found the commercial's concept "sweet" ‐ and now, apparently 3.2 million YouTube viewers feel the same way.