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Audi Proves Electric Can Be Everyday with ‘E-Pilots’


For three months, select Audi employees get to test-drive the prototype battery electric Audi A3 e-tron. It sounds futuristic because it is. These test drivers, or “e-Pilots” get a charging module installed in their garages, from which they fuel their cars. There are blinking lights and shiny parts. Then, the e-Pilots drive the normal looking vehicle, going about their daily lives. No gas necessary.


So while the e-tron is an unfamiliar innovation, Audi is making sure it will fit into people’s everyday lives. Using the resulting material as marketing is an effective tactic. In the first “Audi Electric Life” video (which was produced by PMK*BNC), Ti Chan’s mom adorably asks, “Will it shock me?” In the second, we see Mark Ramsey’s daughters appreciate e-tron’s environmental friendliness. “It doesn’t make any smoke and it’s really good for the environment and birds really like the environment.”

What could be a boring infomercial becomes an approachable window into life with an electric car. This is an example of well-executed “show, don’t tell.” A gentle, relatable marketing approach works well for a brand that’s preparing to disrupt the way people drive. An electric car is new and strange, but if these people can fit it so seamlessly into their lives, maybe we can follow suit.

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