Audi Speeds Through Decades In New Campaign

Audi- Jason StathamAudi's 60-second spot for next month's Super Bowl game will air during the first quarter, in the first ad pod. And that will be the only time the ad airs on the Bowl and in a 60-second form, says Scott Keogh, CMO of the Herndon, Va.-based luxury/performance automaker.

This will be the second Super Bowl spot in as many years for Audi, which lampooned "The Godfather" last year to promote the then-new R8 sports car. This year's ad, starring action-film actor Jason Statham, promotes the supercharged version of the Audi A6 car by offering it as the last and best way for Statham to get away from the bad guys. The ad follows him in a chase that has him moving through time and from car to car--one for each decade--to avoid being captured.

"We shot a lot of footage and will tweak some of it to make a 30-second spot," says Keogh.



"Literally, what we are calling it is a 'high-speed chase through the decades,' so we try to pay a little bit of homage to some of the famous chase scenes and movies," he says. For instance, the 1970s has him in a wide-lapel shirt and brown leather jacket, with a "French Connection" motif. "The 1980s is a little bit over the top, with a wink at 'Miami Vice'," says Keogh. He says that when Statham reaches 2009, the spot has a clean "Bourne Identity" feel.

Audi will launch an entirely new ad campaign during the Academy Awards presentation to support the Q5 crossover--part of Audi's plan to expand its crossover lineup with smaller SUVs.

Keogh says Audi's purpose with the new spot is to identify the brand with what's coming versus what was. The less obvious purpose of the ad is to identify competitive brands with the latter--the past. Statham jumps into a Mercedes in the 1970s, and into a BMW in the 1980s. He considers a Lexus in the 1990s. None, for various reasons, allow him to escape.

"The story we are telling America is that with all of our innovations and technology, Audi is both today and the future--so there is, in our minds, a little social commentary. We think cars and brands have their decades and moments, and they get cemented there a little. We want to be associated with the future and to where luxury is heading."

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