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Posts Tagged ‘Audi’

Brand Moves: Audi Snaps Into Action and E*TRADE Scraps the Cheeky Baby

Audi Snapchat Dog Courtesy of HUGEBeing a brand that’s witty, irreverent or challenges convention isn’t so easy, especially since those companies set the bar high and their customers come to expect unique, creative ads and social communications. Two such brands, Audi and E*TRADE, shared their stories at Ad Age’s Digital Conference this week in New York. Audi detailed their use of Snapchat during the Super Bowl game, and E*TRADE discussed their decision to end their popular baby ad campaign.

Audi picks up the pace: “Being a challenger brand gives us an edge”, said Anna Russell, Audi’s general manager of brand marketing. She outlined the car brand’s core messages: they’re “champions of progress”, using LED lighting, they “challenge convention”, particularly with their Quattro system, and they’re a “brand of action” and frequent sports sponsor.

Still, as Aaron Shapiro, CEO of their agency, HUGE, noted, with the Oreo effect, “now every brand is piling on no matter how relevant or not” in real-time marketing during events. He said Audi didn’t want to use a “me-too strategy”. (Plus, they needed to be careful since they were involved in a 2010 Super Bowl campaign controversy).

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It’s a Bird! It’s a Plane! It’s a Burger Commercial! Superman Sells Hardee’s Burgers

What fuels The Man of Steel himself as he heroically defends truth, justice and the American way? Why, burgers, of course!

Well, okay, so technically –according to these new Carl’s Jr.’s and Hardee’s ads– the burgers are fueling the average joes who have to clean up after Superman’s heroics, but Mr. Kent himself (played by “Man of Steel” star Henry Cavill) does make an appearance.

Even though we are well aware that blockbuster superhero movies are hotbeds of product placements and endorsements, we are often still surprised (somehow) when we catch our first glimpses of our costume-clad heroes in primetime ads for cars, clothes, and restaurants. We must admit though: at least we find these burger ads marginally more plausible than the Iron Man Audi spots — the man has a flying suit, out of which he manages to step looking fresh as a spring daisy…why drive?

How the Carnival Triumph Disaster Is Also a PR Opportunity

Here at PRNewser, we’re always thinking of ways to turn even the sourest lemons into sweet lemonade. As we watched the Carnival Triumph disaster play out over the long weekend, we came up with a few ways other brands could use use this foul-smelling story to their advantage:

  • Competitors could simply use this scandal as an opportunity to hype their own offerings by cutting through the negative news with humor. Just as Audi used the Super Bowl blackout to lightly mock rival Mercedes (sponsor of the Superdome), other travel brands could make references to the Triumph debacle or Carnival’s new discount service–and everyone would get the joke.
  • Rival cruise operators could create campaigns highlighting their own tech prowess with taglines like “No Triumphs in This Fleet”. Of course, there’s always the potential for backlash if these companies experience technical disasters on later cruises–but the possibly of failure rarely stops a lucrative promo campaign.
  • Another idea: travel and tourism brands could position themselves as alternatives to a troubled cruise industry. Timeshare and vacation condo companies, for example, could create a campaign called “Keep Your Feet on the Ground” emphasizing the safety of trips that don’t require travelers to leave the comfort of the land.

What do we think? The public loves humor as long as it isn’t blatantly mean-spirited, right?

Should other brands make light of the Triumph in promo campaigns or social media efforts? Have any already jumped on this opportunity?

Crowdfunding via Kickstarter: A New Kind of PR?

Chances are you’ve heard the name Kickstarter, the fundraising startup that calls itself “the world’s largest funding platform for creative projects.”

The site looks like the leader in crowdsourced funding right now, and we don’t think we’re going too far out on a limb in saying that it has revolutionized the blunt and often ugly art of raising money for artisans and organizers who don’t have much.

The site has helped fund everything from graphic novels to “comeback” albums for troubled jazz veterans to full-length films featured in some of the world’s biggest festivals. We were particularly drawn, via Fast Company, to the tale of a team looking to build an underground park in an abandoned warehouse on New York’s Lower East Side. The video and photos of the “LowLine” project are impressive and, dare we say it, a little inspiring:

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Audi Brand Wins Big With ’50 Shades of Grey’

We haven't read them. Are they any good? Sex toys and bondage apparel aren’t the only products buoyed by the runaway success of “mommy porn” trilogy Fifty Shades of Grey. As you may know, the appetites of devastatingly handsome bachelor and all-around rich guy Christian Grey extend beyond kinky sex and virginal women to include luxury cars. He doesn’t just like fancy wheels, he likes Audis — lots of them. So what did Audi do to earn this high-value product placement? Not a thing (except for boasting a meticulously cultivated and widely recognized brand image).

According to Ad Age, author E.L. James (that’s 30 million copies and counting) doesn’t own an Audi — she’s not even a major fan. But when she needed to choose an auto brand demonstrating her character’s wealth, class, and desire for top performance (no pun intended), Audi immediately came to mind.

As Rob Donnell, founder and president of Los Angeles-based Brand Arc, told Ad Age: “It was probably purely character-driven. Cars always define character quite precisely, and that’s usually one of the ways [brands] can get in early” on books, TV shows or movies. In other words, while these freebie product placement spots came about organically, they’ve made Audi a shoe-in for a guest starring role in the upcoming 50 Shades film series — and we think the company will be ready to shell out a pretty penny for the pleasure (think Volvo in the Twilight series). The time has come to make a move: Universal and Focus Features have reportedly bought the rights to Ms. James’ trilogy for a cool $5 million.

What impact has all of this commotion had on the Audi brand?

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New Audi Tool Is Like a GPS for Its Reputation

The Audi.360 has a dashboard, but it’s not a new car model. It’s their digital tool for managing their reputation, and it runs 24/7. Audi uses it to track not only their media coverage but also the reputations of their CEO, board members, and their main competitors, BMW and Mercedes Benz.

Judith Piesbergen, from Audi’s issues and reputation management team, detailed Audi’s process for monitoring its reputation worldwide while speaking at the Global Strategic Communication & Measurement Conference hosted by International Association of Business Communicators and Prime Research in New York on Thursday.

The company identified seven key factors that drive its reputation: including management, strategy, financial performance, products and services, social responsibility, appeal as an employer, and ecological responsibility. Audi also benchmarks these measures versus its two key competitors. With so many variables, Prime Research developed the 360 tool to manage the information flow, and it provides real-time information by country and time frame.

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Research Finds Women Really Like Gaming Apps

The Sims Social, a new online game, is coming to Facebook.

Research over the past three months conducted by Women at NBCU’s Brand Power Index found that more women than men have at least one gaming app on their smartphone; 75 percent of women versus 67 percent of men. Women be gaming!

Moreover, the research showed that those brands that offered games during that time period saw a spike in their Brand Index score. For instance, Stouffer’s launched a game on Facebook, “Farmer’s Harvest” in Farmville, with promotions and moved up from number 363 to number 303.

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