I’ve got to be honest: I did not think expect to start this week by writing about a 90-second branded video from Audi that contains multiple sex-toy jokes. But here we are.
In a surprising piece of Valentine’s Day content, Audi got SNL’s Vanessa Beyer to star in a video where she channels Ana Steele and tries to recreate the infamous elevator scene from 50 Shades of Grey by attempting to seduce one rider after another. There are vibrator jokes. There are Kegel exercises. There are other things implied that I won’t mention, because I don’t want to get fired.
This isn’t just a case of a brand hijacking a pop-culture phenomenon—the 50 Shades movie comes out Friday—Audi plays a central role in the book. The male protagonist, Christian Grey, buys each of his submissive girlfriends an Audi A3. That’s the subtle joke here, and by the end of the video, you realize that’s what Beyer is after.
It’s a smart move by Audi to remind 50 Shades of Grey fans about its place as the book’s glamour brand, and Beyer is incredible. Hell, I may just have to go see this movie now, in part so I have something to talk about with my girlfriend’s dad. Apparently, he’s a big fan, and luckily for Audi, he’s right in their target market—just like many of the 700,000 others who have watched the video on YouTube so far.