Dispatching “green police” to ensure that those assembling in public places behave in a manner that is respectful toward Mother Nature is a concept that has been done before. Just ask attendees of the yearly Glastonbury Music Festival in southwest England, who are oftentimes “guilted” into disposing of their junk in the proper recycling receptacles. In fact, the concert organizers are currently hiring a new generation of vigilant litter busters despite the fact that even with their best efforts, concert-goers still managed to leave 1,650 tons of scattered waste behind after last year’s event.
German automaker Audi recently decided to translate the green police concept to the small screen in the form of a series of brief environmental themed ads that they intend to unveil during the Super Bowl. Each features serious-looking captains who detail all of the ways that citizens can generate less of a negative impact on the environment, and while they come off as being slightly corny, there is clearly still some value to the pseudo-PSAs. We may be familiar with all the ways that we can save the planet, but when push comes to shove, we don’t seem exercise simple lifestyle alterations when they matter most.
Leave it to a blogger to make a correlation between Audi’s latest eco-marketing efforts and Nazi Germany’s conventional uniformed Ordnungspolizei. Explaining that the original Green Police “were part of the Nazi persecution and execution of millions of Jews in the Holocaust of the Second World War,” Audi responded by doing a little damage control of their own.
Running their series of ads by two major Jewish figures — Fred Zeidman, Chairman of the U.S. Holocaust Memorial and Museum as well as Abraham Foxman, head of the Anti Defamation League – Audi was assured that no one in the Jewish community would be offended, a fact which solidified the extensive research they had previously conducted on the concept and story idea. If anything, their Green Police seem to be guilty of nothing more than being uber-cheesy, and what’s the real crime in that? Audi will likely benefit from the inevitable “bad press is good press” fallout and hopefully, viewers will pick up a few eco-practical lifestyle tips along the way.