Audi doesn’t need good mu­sic – they let their cars do the talk­ing

Weekend Argus (Saturday Edition) - - MEDIA& MARKETING -

ONE OF my bosses once opined that “no­body is in­ter­ested in cars”... thereby vi­o­lat­ing the car­di­nal rule of any jour­nal­ism (and mar­ket­ing for that mat­ter): You are not the tar­get mar­ket.

His as­sess­ment had been based on his view and that of his wife (both in their fifties) and their thirty-some­thing daugh­ter. The re­al­ity was that, at the time he made the comment, the South African car mar­ket was the fastest grow­ing on the planet, out­strip­ping, in per­cent­age terms, even that of China. At the same time, re­search com­pany Syno­vate re­vealed that 85 per­cent of South Africans have some kind of emo­tional con­nec­tion (greater or lesser) with their cars.

So the mo­tor busi­ness is huge, not only in terms of turnover but also in im­por­tance for or­di­nary peo­ple... and even those who can’t af­ford of a car dream of hav­ing one some day.

Like­wise, the car mar­ket­ing and ad­ver­tis­ing busi­ness is not only huge, it also is a fre­quent topic of dis­cus­sion among the 85 per­cent who are in­ter­ested in ve­hi­cles.

First Orchid this week goes to the TV spot for Hyundai’s iX35 SUV. Per­son­ally, I would rather walk than drive an iX35, but I am not the tar­get mar­ket (I am a car fa­natic and not eas­ily swayed by pretty looks). How­ever, my daugh­ter – and no doubt thou­sands like her – love the ad, which fea­tures all sorts of scenes of roads in South Africa. It gives you an idea you can get out and about in an iX35 (and few will care that if you re­ally do, you might get stuck, but again that’s an­other story). The ad then pur­ports that all the footage was shot through the rear-view cam­era of the iX35.(See the ad on our i-lincc - code sstarorchid15)

It’s clever and it show­cases an at­trac­tive fea­ture for the tar­get mar­ket. And it is ef­fec­tive... as is other Hyundai ad­ver­tis­ing, judg­ing by the num­bers of their cars on the road.

What my daugh­ter likes about it, though, is the mu­sic. She loves the group The Black Keys. It re­minded me how im­por­tant mu­sic, which in turn gen­er­ates emo­tion, is in sell­ing cars.

Orchid to Hyundai for hit­ting that bulls­eye – and don’t worry about me, guys.

An ad more geared to­ward petrol­heads like me has got lots of peo­ple talk­ing. It is for Audi’s awe­some R8 V10 Plus su­per­car. It shows the car teth­ered to a rolling road (where all four driven wheels can turn) and then be­ing revved up and down through the gears.

The rear plas­tic bits have been re­moved from the car to show the ex­hausts of the V10 engine spout­ing blue flame on the over­run. It’s bril­liant and car porn for petrol­heads. Even those who are not fa­nat­ics are im­pressed – and who can’t be with that sound?

Some might say that Audi is wast­ing its money in pro­mot­ing a car which will only sell in small num­bers here. But that’s not the point of ei­ther the car or the ad. The R8 V10 is a “halo” prod­uct for Audi and the ad says that if the com­pany can do this, just imag­ine what you’re get­ting in your A3.

Or­chids to Audi. Here’s some­thing un­usual: an Onion for a VW ad. The lat­est Golf GTI – ver­sion we see here any­way – is just like ev­ery other hot car ad... lots of tyre screech­ing and slid­ing and skid­ding. All to the tune of Frank Si­na­tra’s My Way. What galled me (and my daugh­ter’s fo­cus group too) was the fact that it’s clearly a for­eign ex­e­cu­tion: the car is a left-hand drive and it’s a two-door. My daugh­ter noted an­grily that there was a small piece of copy stat­ing that only four-door de­riv­a­tives will be avail­able in this coun­try.

Af­ter all the great ads done for Golf and VW over the years in this coun­try, and which are uniquely South African, it is sad to con­front the re­al­ity that the Ger­man car maker is go­ing the way of other brands in this coun­try and im­port­ing its mar­ket­ing ma­te­rial. I sin­cerely hope this is not the case... but in the in­terim, for that Volk­swa­gen, you get an Onion.

In­ter­est­ingly, the full ad (see our i-lincc sstarorchid17) is not bad at all. Why on earth VW won’t run the full treat­ment here, heaven only knows.

The staff of Shutterstock cel­e­brate af­ter the com­pany listed on the New York Stock Ex­change in 2012.

AWE­SOME: Audi’s R8 V10 Plus su­per­car.


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