Audi's "Green Police" Super Bowl ad campaign features a fake police unit with the same name as one that hunted Jews during WWII.
Ignore, if you will, the petty brand of Paul Blart Mall Cop fascism and let's focus instead on the name. While Audi is clearly trying to reference environmentally friendly politics, the name can also be seen to reference the The German Order Police or Orpo who were charged with hunting down and executing Jews during the Holocaust. The Orpo were known as the "Green Police" because of their green uniforms. Others argue that the link with Nazis is an association too far, pointing out that Germany's current police force wears green uniforms (and drives green Porsches) and Israel itself uses the name for its own environmental watchdog.
The ad itself is intended to promote the Audi A3 TDI and its 34 MPG combined fuel economy figure, but if public opinion swings the wrong way, could instead backfire, creating a controversy that could check Audi's relentless march towards becoming Germany's master brand. [via MediaBistro]