Dear Audi

audi-logo

Dear Audi,

Thank you for showing us, through two recent adverts, how the same fundamental brand property – power – can be executed in drastically different ways.

First up you gave us the new R8 V10:

I love this ad for many reasons:

  • Product as the unashamed, unapologetic hero
  • Clear Audi branding, from the outset
  • Beautiful cinematography
  • Focus on the engine reflected by the neat Evolution on the outside, Revolution on the inside strap line
  • Unmistakeable out-take out from the ad: the R8 V10 is an uber-powerful car, capable of a menacing roar and, literally, spitting fire

But now you’ve given us the new RS6:

I’m not so sure about this:

  • There’s a lack of product and Audi branding until the very end – more of an issue on first time viewing and next time I see the ad, I will know it’s for Audi and the emotional relevance will begin to build, but what if there isn’t a next time?
  • Although I’m a big fan of metaphors, I don’t think you’ve picked the right one here, for a UK audience at least…perhaps boxing is more aspirational in the US than in the UK, but here I suspect that the RS6’s price tag will make it more relevant to senior City-types who are looking to get the family and labrador down to the weekend house in illegally good time – and those types tend to be more into the Six Nations, shooting and fishing than boxing
  • Whilst the Power from a less obvious place strapline works with the metaphor of the boxing referee, I’m not so sure it works with the product – even “de-badged” an RS6 is a pretty bling car and is noticeably different from a standard Audi A6…back in the day, an RS6 could justifiably be described as “the thinking/family man’s Porsche” and back then Power from a less obvious place would have worked but nowadays with all those highly distinctive RS styling features?

2013-Audi-RS-6-Avant

  • And even though I don’t think we are supposed to envisage that the ref is leaving the boxing ring to step into his RS6 and drive home – it’s what he represents that’s more important than who he is – he’s still the hero of the ad and therefore it’s impossible to disassociate him as a driver of the car…which somehow doesn’t feel likely
  • Also I’ve got doubts that an emotionally led expression of power (as opposed to the functional expression of power of the R8 ad) is right for the target audience. If a person is considering spending in the region of £80k on a car, in all likelihood they’re an actual or closet male motor-head. And that means they want to know about engines, horsepower and the like…does that person really worry too much about being “less obvious”? (They’re already being less obvious than the Range Rover / Porsche Cayenne brigade after all)

Thanks again Audi. Even though my real world head says VW, but my financially liberated heart would say Audi every time. R8 for me. RS6 for the family. A3 for the imaginary au pair / nanny.

Ned

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