What do you get when you combine the world’s steepest street, 4 athletes and snow? Well an Audi advertisement of course. Audi went to great lengths steeps to film an ad highlighting the tough factor in the Audi A4 Quattro, and the end result is stunning.
Pittsburgh Pennsylvania is a rustic city, which just also happens to have the world’s steepest public street. Canton Avenue in the Beechview suburb is a tree-lined roadway that caught the eye (and adventure) of Audi executives this past November. Seeing it as a challenge (the locals who live there think otherwise) an Audi ad was developed where this stone-paved neighborhood block takes center stage.
Besides the steepest street and the A4 Quattro the commercial features four incredible Red Bull athletes; Mattias Ekstrom – DTM champ and Audi works driver, Bene Mayr – freestyle skier, Heikki Sorsa – professional snowboarder, and Aaron Gwin – downhill mountain biker.
The commercial plays like a slow race to the finish. At the start, the four athletes pile into the Audi Quattro 4 with Ekstrom behind the wheel. He is also the narrator, giving a brief history of Canton Avenue and the challenge that is in front of them. Old footage of a bike race (we assume old because it’s in black and white) shows athletes falling off their rides as they attempt the ascent, as Ekstrom maneuvers his way through Pittsburgh to the bottom of the street.
It’s fun to see Ekstrom in this role, who seems to have a hard time hiding his love for this type of carefree driving. You can’t miss the mischievous glint in his eye as he narrates “so let’s have some fun guys!” before heading upwards. His deep chuckles and the passenger’s smiles make it obvious that these guys are indeed having some fun.
To add a bit more to the challenge gravel and mud were added to the surface, which the Quattro takes on like a pro despite the sharp angle. Then out of nowhere, the hill is covered in a blanket of snow, but the Audi makes it the crest with ease. At this point Ekstrom introduces his passengers, who all disembark from the vehicle and start suiting up for their respective sport.
Now it is not up to us to question where in the world the bike, skis, and snowboard were during the joyride up the hill, but they are all in plain view for the trip down. With great flair, and some air acrobatics, each athlete “races” the Audi Quattro back down the snow covered street.
Residents of Canton Avenue had nothing but praise to sing when asked about the experience. For most, it was a 4 day escape from their ordinary, who thought that the canned snow was pretty awesome. They were even given the gravel as a consolation prize to fill in their driveways.
The Audi completed this leg of its Quattro Challenge with ease, and in a surprising place. Pittsburgh may not be on any list of the world’s most glamorous cities, but in between the car-obatics, the charm and grace is clearly noted in the ad.