What's most interesting in this online ad, part of a much larger, high-production-value campaign from Audi, is not the obvious heresy in positioning diesel, made cuter with an asterisk (and for which I give props to the creatives/planners who thought that up), as the friendlier fossil fuel, but the benefit it suggests: the chance to "send back" foreign oil.
Feels good, huh? It's empowering, even a little bourgois, to "send back" something you don't care for or approve, in this case, that distasteful foreign oil, rolled onto our shores in beat-up oil drums.
Never mind that we don't actually send oil back. Ever. Never mind that the car that eliminates the need for foreign oil is itself foreign made. Audi let's you feel like you just stuck it to the man, all while cozying up to that sweetly reformed petroleum product.
There's power and in this case chicness in villifying the abstracted "other" hiding in the idea, if not the fact, of foreign oil (fact: most oil we import comes from Canada). It's less a "green" message than a national security/economic message, but the crossover is here to stay. It's just crazy to see foreign automobile makers shilling it — along with the subject of my next post, the Audi "TDI Movement."