Audi uses Social Media to Build Brand

In 2006, Scott Keogh joined Audi of America as their Chief Marketing Officer (CMO). At that time Audi, unlike Mercedes, BMW and Lexus,  was not perceived as a luxury brand in the United States.  Scott said, “Luxury is a conversation not an ideal. It is about what we most admire and desire and that evolves as consumer preferences evolve. To change the conversation, you have to get into it, and we were not part of the US luxury conversation. It is important to admit reality- if you have a competitor, you have to look at it and determine what you are going to do about it.” Audi was well respected in Germany but not in the US and Scott set out to change that perception by reinventing themselves based on four principles and a social media marketing campaign.  (Lamb, 2012)

Audi’s Four Principles

  • “It is not what you’re driving it is what you are driving for”
  • “Shift from seeking confirmation to achieving admiration” change from he is one of us, to I want to be like him
  • “It’s ok to let them see you sweat” – stare competition in the face
  • Luxury is more about experience than products- obtain greater satisfaction by buying an experience not a material good. (Lamb, 2012)

Audi Uses Viral Marketing

Since 2008 Audi has increased brand awareness in a down economy. They have done so by utilizing “unorthodox” viral marketing campaigns; “Stolen Audi” miniseries TV and YouTube video spots and “Meet the Beckers” video’s aimed at their competition. The “unorthodox” strategy is working for Audi because Audi is perceived as unorthodox in the marketplace. (Schwartz, 2011)

Humor and Risk – from Audi’s “Green Police” 2010 Campaign

In 2010 Audi created a “Green Police” advertisement for the Super Bowl and a series of public service announcements. The goal was to create buzz via humor around the Audi A3 TDI, and bring awareness to sustainability, not poke fun at environmentalists. The ads generated a bit of controversy due to the way Audi portrayed the eco-movement. The American Chemistry Council’s plastic division countered some of Audi’s portrayal of plastics. (Koch, 2010) David Roberts, staff writer of the Grist Magazine, gave more consideration to the portrayal of the green police in the Audi ad and believes people are over thinking the ad and missing the point; “the Audi A3 TDI is green and desirable—indeed more desirable because it is green. Audi is targeting an audience which is not hard core environmentalists; they are targeting those who want to do the right thing. The intended A3 TDI message is “prosperity, pleasure and sustainability can be achieved together.” (Roberts, 2010)

Continue reading

Advertisements