Audi Seeks to No Longer be the “Best Kept Secret”
Audi of America revealed its new “Truth in Engineering” advertising campaign today with two 15-second spots for the TT.
The first new campaign for the manufacturer in five years will use Audi’s engineering prowess to underscore core messaging around simplicity and safety. According to Audi of America Chief Communications Officer Jeff Kuhlman, “[Truth in Engineering] . . . articulates the notion that Audi automobiles provide the most authentic, truthful driving experience in the luxury segment.”
While Audi’s worldwide and US sales continue to set records, Audi is still an unknown to too many luxury car buyers. “We need to popularize and energize the Audi of America… successful brands are known and popular,” said Scott Keogh, Audi of America Chief Marketing Officer. With this new campaign, then, Audi will start the task of repositioning itself as a major player in the luxury car segment through much more aggressive, emotional advertising.
On the positive side Audi appears to have the products to support its marketing efforts. All new vehicles such as the R8 supercar and Q7 luxury SUV are now part of the lineup and the trendy TT has also recently be redesigned. A brand new high performance coupé, the S5, will join the ranks later in the year (with the A5 to follow early next year) and there are redesign or facelift plans in place for the remainder of the lineup.
The new campaign focuses initially on the TT, but will eventually include ads for the A4, A6, Q7 and other models to be determined over the next year.
Audi’s approach with the TT ads is somewhat unique, utilizing a series of quickly flashing images whereby viewers may need to turn to the slow motion feature of their DVR players to comprehend the messaging. Similar campaigns have been used by other major advertisers to entice viewers to pay attention.
The initial A4 advertisement takes a different tact showing an A4 aggressively spinning into a parallel parking spot between two cars with the tagline, “the luxury car for people who can park themselves.” With this bit of swagger Audi not only takes a subtle swipe at Lexus’ parking technology, but shows some much-needed passion.
The Q7 spot, on the other hand, utilizes emotional messages to emphasize Audi’s safety technology. This approach is perfect given the family target market for the SUV.
The campaign was created by Audi of America’s new agency Venables, Bell & Partners, San Francisco, which has been working with the brand since just January. It also highlights the work of interactive agency Factory Design Labs which has responsibility for AudiUSA.com, as well as model microsites, online advertising and other online assets.
This point is critical since Audi of America fully recognizes and embraces online consumers, and indeed seeks to drive customers to online resources such as the recently developed TT-Truth website. Keogh says that 88% of all Audi customers begin their purchase process online.