|February 9, 2008
Audi's Super Bowl Ad: Review and Recap
It's been a week since the Giants' upset win over the Patriots giving Audi fans and the media alike plenty of time to ruminate over Audi of America's bold Super Bowl advertising. For the record we'll tell you that we give Audi's Godfather inspired ad a solid B+ and here's our rationale why.
First, the ad put the Audi R8 on the world's biggest advertising stage. This vehicle has received as much press - positive press - as any new vehicle we can remember in recent history, but a good deal of that coverage came from automotive media. What makes the R8 so great is its massive curb appeal. Hardcore auto enthusiasts can appreciate it for its engineering and driving characteristics, but for everybody else it is simply an amazing looking car. Audi showed millions of US households, many of whom have never seen the R8, a glimpse at just how cool the brand has become.
Second, Audi of America deftly blended a dramatic reference from a celebrated film while delivering a knock-out punch with its messaging. The "new" power, the changing of the guard, the unequivocal messaging that the battle is already over were all brilliantly incorporated within The Godfather metaphor.
Third, it is our belief that this era marks the beginning of an unprecedented run for the Audi brand. This commercial, then, marks the coming out of what Audi hopes is a permanent move by the brand toward an iconic status. Audi hopes to follow in the foot steps of one of the most famous Super Bowl ads of all time, Apple's 1984 ad for its Macintosh personal computer. That ad, much like Audi's, was about fighting against the establishment of the IBM PC and IMB PC compatibles.
A small ding could be the movie reference itself which depends on the viewer's familiarity with The Godfather. Younger viewers would be helpless to recognize the allusion to the famous scene, although, as mentioned in our first point, the Audi R8 eventually steals the show as it closes the commercial. Younger viewers undoubtedly remembered the R8 even if the beginning of the commercial made no connection.
All in all it was a thrill to simply see Audi on this stage. After covering the brand from near obscurity in 1996 through the Super Bowl ad of 2008 we can indisputably say that Audi is slowly but surely removing its "best kept secret" status.
Our assessment is in line with much of the commentary surrounding the ad this past week. Here is a summary of what others were saying.
Detroit Free Press
The Truth About Cars
Philadelphia Daily News
If you haven't yet seen the ad then you can see it, together with a good deal more content, at Audi's www.truthinengeineering.com website.
We have also obtained a batch of photos from Audi covering some of the celebrities, surroundings and goings-on surrounding Audi during the week leading up to the game.