AUDI SOUPS UP NEW MODELS BUT SLOWS DOWN ADS: VEHICLES FOR 2000 ARE STATIONARY IN UNDERSTATED REDESIGN EFFORT

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Audi of America is on a power trip, but its advertising for the 2000 model year won't show the new A6 4.2, for example, screaming down a dirt road and kicking up a trail of dust.

"That's just not Audi," said Walter Hanek, Audi marketing director, who said the ads will be understated.

Ads debut Oct. 11 from agency McKinney & Silver, Raleigh, N.C.

PROVIDING POWER

Sleek redesigns of the A4 and A6 have fueled Audi's growth in recent years, and for 2000 Audi is providing power: The S4, based on the A4; the A6 2.7 T sedan; the A6 4.2; and, of course, the TT Coupe.

With its 180-horsepower engine, the TT does not have the power of the new A6 models. But the TT and the new S4 are the "key igniters" of Audi's performance initiative, said Mr. Hanek.

A TT Roadster arrives in early 2000.

The new ads will be similar in content to the three current TV spots for the TT Coupe, which feature the voice of a driver reacting to a motionless TT.

CONTINUING CONTENT

"It didn't move. We let those lines [of the car] impress you," said Mr. Hanek. "This idea you will see continue."

While one dealer initially suggested the ads for the 2000 models were too soft, Mr. Hanek said that flaunting the new power is the obvious and easy way out. Audi customers are intelligent enough to know what a dual turbo, 250-horsepower engine means in terms of performance and power, he noted.

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