Audi Revs Up Image in Super Bowl Ad

By: Anthony Fontanelle

Audi AG is revving up its image as the new luxury auto brand through a high-budgeted Super Bowl commercial.

The first Big Game ad of the Volkswagen-owned automaker in two decades will be featuring the new R8. The said ad utilizes a send-up iconic scene from The Godfather to poke fun, without naming names, at luxury auto rivals, reported USA Today.

"We don't look at this as a car ad as much as we look at it as a statement," said Scott Keogh, Audi's vice president of marketing. "The message we want to send is between Old World and New World and say that Audi is the New World. The spot sets up old luxury as excessive extravagance. Audi is not about excess, it's about substance."

The German automaker will be competing with several rivals in the auto industry for attention in the game. General Motors Corp., Toyota Motor Corp. and Hyundai Motors are in the game. Additionally, Nissan Motor Corp. and other automakers are acquiring 'spot' ads in individual markets.

Venables Bell & Partners in San Francisco, the advertising company behind Audi's ad, took that into account. "The fact that people don't pay attention to auto ads unless they are in the market for a car is exactly the ammunition we used to do something different and provocative," said Paul Venables, the agency founder and co-creative director. "We have this slow, methodical open; it's eerie and not a gag a minute. The light bulb is going to go off that it's The Godfather. All those things contribute to a pause that's going to deliver an entertaining story and brand message."

The maker of the reliable paid Paramount Pictures a licensing fee that it would describe only as ranging from $500,000 to $1.5 million.

Who will get to see Audi's ad first? According to reports, the lucky ones are the registered users of the automaker's official Web site. The ad will be e-mailed to approximately 35,000 registered users of audi.com on Super Bowl morning.

Audi, to note, is already etching a positive standing in the industry. In 2007, global sales of the automakers surged 6.5 percent from the previous year to 964,000. Additionally, the limited production of the R8 for this year is already sold out. Moreover, the automaker hopes its Super Bowl ad will make its image shine even brighter at the same time drive more gains to its coffers.

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