autoevolution

Audi Once Managed to Promote Itself by Praising the Competition

Alfa Romeo has always been praised for the beauty of its cars. BMW has a long tradition of sportiness and handling. Mercedes-Benz is considered a synonym for luxury and comfort, while Volvo is recognized for selling safe vehicles. In such an environment, Audi once released a commercial that did not forget about any of that. On the contrary: it managed to promote itself by praising its competitors.
Audi manage to promote itself while praising its competitors. And it was not that hard 9 photos
Audi manage to promote itself while praising its competitors. And it was not that hardAudi manage to promote itself while praising its competitors. And it was not that hardAudi manage to promote itself while praising its competitors. And it was not that hardAudi manage to promote itself while praising its competitors. And it was not that hardAudi manage to promote itself while praising its competitors. And it was not that hardAudi manage to promote itself while praising its competitors. And it was not that hardAudi manage to promote itself while praising its competitors. And it was not that hardAudi manage to promote itself while praising its competitors. And it was not that hard
Although it was possibly one of the simplest and cheapest car advertisements ever made, we wonder if anyone will ever manage to pull off something so elegant, subtle, and striking. All it took Audi was four key rings, keys from Audi, BMW, Mercedes-Benz, and Volvo cars, and a discrete key hanger.

The commercial starts with a written question on the screen: “What do you want in a car?” Then someone hangs a red key in the first key hook, and a simple word pops up: “Design?” After that, the person who hung the key turns it so that it presents the Alfa Romeo badge, implying the Italian brand embodied that characteristic.

Three other words pop up on the screen. The question “Comfort?” is followed by a woman’s hand placing a Mercedes-Benz key on the hook. “Safety?” triggers a Volvo key to be right beside the Alfa Romeo key. Finally, the question “Sport(i)ness?” is “answered” by a BMW key being hung between Volvo’s and Mercedes-Benz’s. Again, these companies would be the very representations of the concepts evoked by the questions.

All four key rings are very similar, even if the chains connecting them to the keys are different. If you think about it, the key rings should be holding the keys straight away, but that is how the trick is done.

Suddenly, the camera moves upward to show only the four key rings hanging on the hooks. That’s when another sentence pops up on the screen: “In one car only?” You just have to look below that subtitle to see the four key chains actually form the four rings in Audi’s current badge. Ironically, they also represent four brands, those that formed Auto Union: Audi, DKW, Horch, and Wanderer.

Sadly, we have no idea when this commercial was shot, but it seems it was right when Audi started trying to establish itself as a premium brand. The elegant advertisement was a clever way for Audi to try to compete with BMW and Mercedes-Benz while using front-wheel drive Volkswagen platforms. The company’s salvation was developing the all-wheel drive quattro system, which it managed to present as a premium feature. Construction quality and a warm reception from its customers did the rest.

In the meantime, Volkswagen started a pretty successful strategy of sharing its platforms with all brands while giving each vehicle a unique body. At the time, it was necessary to have a platform for each market segment, such as the PQ24 for superminis, the PQ34 for C-segment cars, and so forth. That evolved into creating modular architectures, which allowed the same platform to underpin the most relevant market segments just by adopting different modules. This is what allows the current Polo and the Passat to use the MQB. This Audi commercial reminds us of the long way the brand walked to get where it currently is.

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