Adwatch (May 2) Top 20 recall: Audi

Audi ad tracks brand's cars from 20s 'ugly duckling' to 2012's 'swan', the A5
Audi ad tracks brand's cars from 20s 'ugly duckling' to 2012's 'swan', the A5

The brand highlights its strong heritage as an auto innovator while promoting its latest cars.

Skip to table

From the opening frame of this ad, you're immediately thrown into a fairy-tale world. Hans Christian Andersen's Ugly Duckling story set to music, Danny Kaye tunefully raising my spirits as I watch a very strange car (at least, I assume it's a car - it looks pretty weird) meander through town.

Unfortunately the car isn't allowed to mind its own business. It's laughed at, heckled, and its appearance draws disapproving shakes of the head. Why can't they leave the poor thing alone?

And right there is the realisation that this is a car ad that's grabbed me. Not through style, being daringly different or even having a visual impact, but through powerful story-telling. I'm not watching a TV ad for a car; I'm watching a fairy tale. I half expect to see James Stewart walk in from the set of It's a Wonderful Life, jump in the car and make everything all right.

Hang on a minute - this is a car ad, right? Aren't we supposed to be shown the usual functional aspects of the latest model, following a well-used formula? Let's see how the car handles round a corner, then watch it speed along a mountain road with a view of the Mediterranean. That rather homogenised approach to car advertising only really shows me that it's a car and can be driven on a road - nothing interesting or new in that.

That's not what we get here, however. The black-and-white world into which we're thrown is immediately engaging and we connect with the car straight away, feeling protective of this 'ugly duckling'. In less than 30 seconds I've been made to humanise the car and feel sorry for it. Impressive stuff, and very different from what I expect to see from Audi.

Of course, everything does turn out all right. Paul Jaray's 20s experimental aerodynamic design transforms into a modern-day Audi A5.

I can't remember the last time I was so drawn in by a car ad. I could question why the A5 was chosen over the other models - the A3 or the A4 could have done just as well - but it's clear that this is doing a job for the brand, not just the A5.

Audi certainly has come a long way, but the heartbeat of what drives the brand remains the same: the focus on advancement through technology, even if it was misunderstood back in the day. In one small transformation, the past 90-odd years of progression are clearly demonstrated, portraying the evolution of design as well as engineering.

It is no easy task maintaining a long-term brand strategy with new news, especially one as well-established as 'Vorsprung durch Technik'. Yet this execution manages to do this exceptionally well, and the more I watch this, the more I like it. The only problem is that I now have the song stuck in my head.

Brand strategy verdict: 9 out of 10

Audi advertising returns to form. This ad manages to deliver brand heritage with true story-telling - 'Vorsprung durch Technik' with style.

Adwatch: Top 20 recall
Latest Apr-25 Brand Agency/TV Buyer Recall
rank       %
1 -1 Comparethemarket.
com
 

VCCP/
ZenithOptimedia

72
2 (–) BT 

Abbott Mead Vickers
BBDO/Maxus

64
3 (–) Virgin Media 

Bartle Bogle Hegarty/
Fifty6

57
4 (–) Confused.
com
 

Wordley Production,
Hornet Inc/PHD

44
5 (–) Aviva 

Abbott Mead Vickers BBDO/
ZenithOptimedia

43
6= (–) Wall's
Magnum
 

Lola Lowe Madrid/
Mindshare

41
6= (–) Dulux 

Bartle Bogle Hegarty/
MediaCom

41
8 (–) Argos 

CHI & Partners/
Mindshare

40
9 (–) Audi A5 

Bartle Bogle Hegarty/
MediaCom

37
10 (–) Wickes  MWO/MEC 36
11= -2 Sky 

Digital & Direct/
MediaCom

35
11= (–) Harveys  HMDG/MediaVest 35
13= (–) Visa  Saatchi & Saatchi,
Publicis Chemistry/MEC
34
13= (–) Orange  Fallon/MEC 34
15= (7=) Tesco F&F  The Red Brick Road/
Initiative
31
15= (18=) Homebase  Leo Burnett/
Mindshare
31
17= (–) Maggi
seasonings
 
Publicis/Mindshare 28
17= (–) Oral-B  Publicis/Starcom 28
19 (–) Karcher
Window-Vac
 
HMDG/Maxus 27
20 -17 The
Co-operative
 
TBWA\
Manchester/
PHD Rocket
26

Discussion

Before commenting please read our rules for commenting on articles.

If you see a comment you find offensive, you can flag it as inappropriate. In the top right-hand corner of an individual comment, you will see 'flag as inappropriate'. Clicking this prompts us to review the comment. For further information see our rules for commenting on articles.

comments powered by Disqus
Brand Republic Jobs

subscribe now

Latest

John Lewis walks consumers through its history to celebrate 150 years of business
Waitrose boosts content strategy with 'Weekend Kitchen with Waitrose' C4 tie-up
Hottest virals: Cute puppies star in Pedigree ad, plus Idris Elba and Fruyo
Amnesty International burns candles to illuminate new hope
Toyota achieves the impossible by calming angry Roman drivers
Tom of Finland's 'homoerotic' drawings made into stamps
YouTube reveals user habits to appeal to 'older' marketers
Ex-M&S marketing chief Steven Sharp consulting at WPP
Wolff Olins reveals new CEO after Apple poaches Karl Heiselman
Glasgow offers £30,000 prize to best digital idea for 2014 Commonwealth Games
Google's revenues surge but shares drop as it grapples with transition to mobile
Facebook beats Twitter to most 'marketing friendly' social media site crown, says DMA
Fableists believe children like Finn should be outdoors enjoying life
Homebase, Baileys and Camelot join the line-up at Media360
MasterCard renews Rugby World Cup sponsorship to push cashless message
Lynx unleashes £9m 'Peace invasion' campaign
Social Brands 100 Youth: Pizza Hut most social youth brand in UK
Cheryl Cole is wild and arresting in new L'Oreal work
Morrisons told not to show alcohol ads during YouTube nursery rhymes
O2 head of brand Shadi Halliwell departs after 23 years at company in restructure
Tesco hit by further sales decline as it turns to digital Clubcard and social network
Branding guru Wally Olins dies aged 83
Duracell short film captures epic Transatlantic voyage
Ash runs Tinder experiment to show smokers are less desirable to opposite sex
British Airways teams up with Gerry Cottle Jnr for summer of rooftop film screenings
Arklu says 'girls can be superheroes too' with doll design competition
Coke enters squash market with Oasis Mighty Drops
Virgin Galactic signs up Land Rover as space flight sponsor
Motorola marketer Andrew Morley departs as Google gears up for sale to Lenovo
US Airways apologises after tweeting obscene image at a customer