Now we know. The A3 is meant to be an entry-level luxury
offering, an Audi for under $30K. Is such a concept an oxymoron?
Can you do luxury on the cheap?
If you go into an Audi showroom with your tattered jeans and
your Honda Accord budget, are you
getting something built with the spare parts from the VW plant down
No. Rest assured you are getting an actual Audi, built with the
same stuff that goes into the $64,000 A7 and the $115,000 R8. Because the carmaker
And to make the point in its commercials, the carmaker and
agency Venables, Bell & Partners have tapped a
handful of iconoclasts including U.S. gold medal-winning boxer
Claressa Shields; celebrity chef David Chang; comedian Kristen
Schaal; graffiti artists Cyrcle; photojournalist Lynsey Addario;
and gospel group Voices of Destiny. This band of folks, who are
strangers to the word compromise, are featured in the campaign's
debut spot, "Dues," reciting lyrics to Queen's "We Are the
Champions." They're bookended by comedian, loudmouth and
provocateur Ricky Gervais.
Gervais, of course, is not for everyone. And that's the point.
Audi isn't interested in some soft-voiced appeal to the masses.
It's talking to you, the with-it, cool folks who recognize
celebrity chefs and photojournalists, you who probably thought
you'd never get a car, but now that you need one realize that Mom's
horribly boring Toyota Camry is $25K, so why not get a luxury ride,
even if it's an entry-level model?
The ad is good. As far as that goes these days. And a second ad,
"Names," puts Gervais (and his reputation) to better use in a spot
that is funny and highlights a product feature. But the campaign
itself goes further. Online, interested viewers will
find "Uncompromised Portraits" of those featured in the "Dues"
As a whole, the campaign butters up the target and nicely
encapsulates what the automaker is going for: Refusing to
compromise, especially at the beginning, can be hard, can put you
in tight spots, may get you temporarily cast out of Hollywood or
abducted in Libya. But ultimately, it pays off. And Audi's
refusal to compromise on even its cheapest model will pay off for
you, too. (As long as you have 30 grand.)