Audi of America pulled the plug on an epic short film and here’s the rumor why.
Last Week Audi of America, through Audi Films production, dropped an epic 9+ minute short film titled “Led Balloon.” Then, seemingly overnight, Audi pulled the plug on its own film. Those who searched for the video or read articles where it was embedded were met with “this video does not exist” placeholders.
The video, if you didn’t get a chance to see it, honors Audi’s Past, Present, and Future through the lens of a Dad coming home from work finding himself in the middle of a neighborhood water fight.
Led Balloon’s principal theme is to live in the moment or to “stop, notice the roses for once” and to “look for the trees the next time we’re lost in the proverbial forest.”
Audi of America cast some serious internet and movie star power including leads Lanny Joon, Julia Lehman, Jermaine Love and Doug DeMuro.
Motorsports fans also enjoyed cameos from Audi racing legends like Walter Rohrl, Hans-Joachim Stuck, Hurley Haywood and Tom Kristensen.
It’s clear AOA dropped a lot of money on coordinating, shooting, and editing an ad more at home on a Cannes Film Festival screen than the internet.
This is what the rumor said verbatim,
“Audi AG leadership asked AOA to scrub it (Led Balloon) from the internet. They did not like how it depicted the products and they didn’t understand the point of the video…”
Interestingly enough, source of said rumor has deleted his (or her) statement and is the main reason those in the know caught wind of its deletion.
Whoever that higher-up is, their decision wasn’t entirely unwarranted.
For one, the video is seriously unAudi-like.
Mention Audi, and brightly lit neighborhoods, water balloon fights, and remote-controlled drones dropping said balloons do not come to mind.
“Clinical”, “engineering,” “Quattro,” and “rally racing,” those are some buzzwords and themes this inspiring video has little of.
The plotline itself is kind of all over the place. The video starts off with little explanation, nor can we infer important background information to connect with the protagonist.
On top of that, the storyline isn’t grounded in any reality. Its setting is Anytown USA, but it’s a neighborhood I’m not sure exists. Every house is perfect. All the neighbors are all at home at the same time at the end of the workday. Everyone drives Audis. And, everyone is just OK starting a massive water balloon fight because why not?
I’m not the only one confused.
On a Reddit thread on the video, Redditor Trades46 mentions,
“I don’t really get the message of water balloons, but amazed at the number of famous folks to film this.”
Despite its imperfections, it is a beautifully shot video with an important message, one that the majority who saw it would not fault the automaker for keeping up.
The video may be “scrubbed” but it still exists.
People noticed the video’s gone. The mere fact Audi AG pulled the plug on its video without explanation, as Dwight Schrute once said, “just shed more light” on its absence.
Although I will not mention* where the videos are up (on this blog post) so others who find it can watch, download it, and spread it, I will say anyone with the slightest skill at internet searches can find it in less than 10 seconds.
I can even confirm there is a small faction of the video’s fans who are making sure the video exists in perpetuity because how dare Audi AG stifle such a beautifully shot creation.
While I understand Audi wanting this film gone, it’s a shame it lived only for a week.
As hinted at, no one would fault Audi if they kept it up. It would’ve been a colorful blip in otherwise clinical grey Audi films. But now it’s gone, it’d be great if they silently brought it back.
* DM me & I’ll send you a link to the video (that’s not the Youtube one with distorted sound.)