Audi has had its headlights pointed forward for years as it has spent nearly two decades -- since the launch of the A4 in the mid 1990’s -- reinventing itself. The company for years was an
also-ran in the luxury category, with an amorphous position in the luxury category. That is not the Audi we know today.
The automaker has been highly aggressive in going after luxury competitors, both with humorous tentpole-media ads, and humorous one-offs -- whether ribbing someone for ripping off Audi design, or by relentlessly positioning one of the competitors as staid and anemic. The automaker even made a jab at Mercedes-Benz for the Super Bowl lighting fail (at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome). The Herndon, Va-based Audi of America made a tweet offering to lend MBUSA a few of its LEDs.
Now, after a record sales year in 2012 ending with a record December, followed by a record first quarter ending in its second-best month ever, the automaker is finally looking back.
The company is launching its first campaign in a long time -- maybe ever -- that waxes nostalgic. The campaign is intended to reminisce upon the brand's history and while extending the “Truth in Engineering” theme. The effort is from San Francisco-based Venables Bell & Partners.
The anthem spot is a 60-second ad, “It Couldn’t Be Done,” breaking Monday night on prime rotation and on national cable. The history-lesson ad begins with a look at August Horch, who created Audi. The ad uses as its thematic underpinning Albert Guest's children's poem “It Couldn’t Be Done.”
The campaign continues with four 15-second spots focusing on various aspects of Audi performance, technology and design -- Quattro AWD, aluminum versus steel in the auto's frames, LED lighting, and the automaker's participation in the 24 Hours of Le Mans with a diesel engine, for example.
This is as good time as any for Audi to do a brand campaign -- as the automaker doesn't have major nameplate launches this year, although it will look to extend its diesel lineup to these shores with diesel variants of the A6, A7, and A8 sedans, and the Q5 SUV. Audi's next new-vehicle launch will be in 2014, when it brings out the A3 compact sedan.