Adwatch: Audi's boxing spot lands a hit

Al Young from Inferno reviews Audi's "The Ring".

This is how Adwatch works.

You are sent a list of 20 TV spots and choose one to write about.

Faced with sifting through such a large smorgasbord of work and not a lot of time in which to do it, I think you need to cut to the chase and ask yourself: "Would I want to see this commercial again?" And to be fair, there were several that I did.

Like the Barclays football sponsorship film, clearly made by people who get football. Or the lovely John Lewis home insurance film, clearly made by people who get home insurance and John Lewis.

But I am going to get behind the latest Audi spot. Because the people who made it clearly get lightness of touch. For such a seemingly effortless skill, it’s very hard to get right – and in our industry, sadly, it’s very rare.

The ad tells the story of two boxers slugging it out in the ring and a referee who intervenes periodically to keep the fight flowing and fair. It signs off with the line "Power from a less obvious place".

It is everything you’d expect from Audi and BBH. It’s sublimely engineered – music, photography and story adding up to something greater than their parts – and, like so many Audi spots that have come before it, the idea comes from a less obvious place.

It doesn’t overexplain. Rather, it equips me with just enough of the story to let me feel good about completing it for myself. By implying the story rather than spoon-feeding it to the audience, I have every reason to want to see it again.

The people who made this ad clearly 'get' lightness of touch

There used to be a poster on the wall in our studio (since stolen) that read "AS SIMPLE AS POSSIBLE BUT NO FUCKING SIMPLER."

And on such deft simplicity, Audi has built the greatness of its brand.

It really gets its audience.

It gets that they are intelligent people, and that Audi drivers are Audi drivers precisely because it is a less obvious choice of car than, say, a BMW.

This isn’t the best Audi spot ever, but it’s certainly good enough to illustrate the mutual respect that the brand shares with its customers.

Cats in shark suits will make people want to see your film again.

But so will simply doing the audience the courtesy of acknowledging their ability to work things out for themselves.

(Click image to enlarge)

Adwatch prompted advertising-awareness research was conducted by TNS as part of its twice-weekly OnLineBus omnibus among 1000 adults aged 16-64. For details of the survey, contact (020 7656 5890). Ads were compiled by Ebiquity (020 7650 9700) and Mediaedge:cia UK (020 7803 2000).


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


Lynx tells men not to leave love to fate
HBO captures awkwardness of watching sex scenes with parents
Primark to open first US stores with Boston chosen as flagship location
Marketing spend on the up but a reality check is needed before celebrating
Top 10 ads of the week: Jackpotjoy and BT Broadband fend off Kevin Bacon
Lidl beats Tesco to 10m Facebook fans
Center Parcs ad banned for encouraging parents to take kids out of school
Coca-Cola, Cadbury and Amazon named top brands for targeting youth market
Leaked document shows Nokia to be rebranded as Microsoft Mobile
Nike lays-off hardware staff in move that casts doubt on future of FuelBand
Greenpeace says save the bees or humans will die
What brands need to know about changes to VAT and online downloads in 2015
Jimmy Savile victims urged to claim compensation in new ad campaign
UKIP launches biggest  ad campaign and stirs up 'racist' accusations
Apple boss Tim Cook provides voiceover on ad touting firm's renewed green commitments
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