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