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Audi offers vision of progress in Janelle Monáe campaign

June 30, 2021

Janelle Monáe ponders what the Audi RS e-tron GT is capable of. Image credit: Audi


German automaker Audi is alerting drivers that they can have it all in its latest RS e-tron GT effort.

Oscar-nominated actor and brand ambassador Janelle Monáe stars in a new short film highlighting the vast features of the Audi RS e-tron GT. The vignette highlights the automaker’s ethos of striving for more, striving for adventure and refusing to settle.

“This is a compelling ad since it blends an easy-to-understand message with compelling images of the e-tron, all while using Janelle Monáe as a spokesperson,” said David Undercoffler, editor in chief at, San Francisco. “Audi has had a longstanding relationship with Janelle and it's easy to see why as she's a gifted multidimensional artist, actor and activist who appeals to a wide audience.

“Audi, and most legacy automakers, are still trying to combat the idea that switching to an electric vehicle means a compromise, since they're still unfamiliar to a lot of buyers and there are a lot of misconceptions about how they fit into one's daily life,” he said. “You can see the cake-and-eat-it-too messaging used a lot these days for first-time electric vehicle shoppers.”

Why not everything?
Ms. Monáe is a performer of many talents: a songwriter, rapper, actress, record producer and model who has previously worked with Audi.

The entertaining short opens with Ms. Monáe adjusting her metronome, then singing, asking herself a question and laughing to herself.

Janelle Monáe has some important questions to answer in the new Audi effort.

She stands by the window, beginning to ask herself a series of questions.

Immediately, viewers can sense a theme.

The actor leaves her office and metronome behind to enter her Audi RS e-tron GT. Her voiceover continues her game of questions, asking herself and viewers their preference between two options: “Reason or fun? Daring or thoughtful?”

The questions continue as the performer drives through streets, passing buildings and streetlights as shots of the metronome and closeups of the Audi steering wheel are spliced together.

She continues to ask herself what she would prefer when faced with a choice between two enticing entities. She parks her Audi in a spacious lot.

The Audi RS e-tron GT. Image credit: Audi

Suddenly, the brand ambassador stands outside of her vehicle, explaining that with Audi, viewers will never have to sacrifice one good thing for another. The moment is an ode to one of Audi’s central values: progress.

Audi drivers do not have to choose. They can have it all.

“Progress is not either/or, “she says. “Progress is everything.”

Electric efforts
Audi is one of several automakers pushing to highlight their electric offerings.

Earlier this month, Audi unveiled a new version of its EV&me app, which is designed to help customers make the switch to a fully electric (BEV) or plug-in hybrid (PHEV) vehicles. Available for download through the Android and Apple app stores, EV&me allows Audi customers to compare useful performance data, charging times and running costs between models (see story).

U.S. automaker Lincoln recently announced it will be debuting its first fully electric vehicle in 2022 as part of its centennial celebrations. The new model is part of the brand’s push to offer a fully electric vehicle lineup by 2030 (see story).

Audi’s fun and inviting efforts continue to go the extra mile in showing what sets its electric vehicles apart.

“Electric vehicle owners and high-performance sports car owners are thought to be two distinct audiences, but the Audi RS e-tron GT combines the best of both worlds,” said Julie Blackley, communications manager at iSeeCars, Boston. “RS is Audi's top high-performance trim and RS models are essentially road versions of Audi's racing cars, making it a versatile, fun-to-drive vehicle that combines the benefits of an EV with the allure of a sports car.”