In the 90s, Audi was still recovering from their sudden acceleration issue with the Audi 5000 during the 80s. Audi had immediately renamed the Audi 4000 the Audi 80/Audi 90 in 1988 and when the new version was released in 1996, it was renamed again to the Audi A4.
The A4 was off to a good start due to a good combination of style, performance and price. Audi plowed a lot of improvements into the car immediately, improving the power of the base 1.8T engine from 150HP to 170HP, nearly putting the higher end 2.8 engine into the shade (this process would be complete with the 2.0T pushing all V6s out of the A4 15 years later).
By late 1997, the A4 was leading a strong comeback to the North American market by Audi and Audi brought the A4 Avant (station wagon) along to broaden their offerings. A 3rd body style, the A4 cabriolet (convertible) would come to the US market several years later.
As of 2011, Audi is progressively removing their Avants from their lineup in the US. The S6 Avant went first, the S4 Avant next, and the next A6 Avant will be gone after the current model year. Only the A3 (all are hatch/Avants in the US) and A4 Avant remain. Oddly, those two probably overlap the most of any of Audis Avant offerings.
This commercial shows a couple seemingly making whoopie in their A4 Avant but actually changing clothes to go bodyboarding.
This spot aired during KRON's show "Sit Down with Gary Radnich" directly after the 5th game of the Baseball World Series on NBC on October 23rd, 1997.