Audi makes a performance out of unveiling the Q8

Audi makes a performance out of unveiling the Q8

The Background

In the fiercely competitive world of SUVs, Audi wanted its Q8 entrance to live up to the name of its campaign.

The Big Idea

At some stage in the pitch process someone from BBH – likely responding to a brief along the lines of, ‘This has to feel massive!’ – suggested to the client; what if a gleaming, orange Q8 emerges from a Ukrainian shipping container in the dead of night to a massive live orchestra performing Dies Irae with upmost gusto? What if they were playing as if their lives depended on it, yet the beauty and elegance of the Audi was such that it distracted them into momentary silence? 

Then someone in a suit probably said, ‘I love it!’.

What They Did

Well it made it. And it’s a lovely spot. The concept isn’t revolutionary, but the setting is quirky, the cinematography is slick and the tone is witty. For the UK launch, unwitting punters at a BFI film premiere were treated to a first play of the advert with a live orchestra and a bunch of sneaky tenors on the back row. The above-the-line media has proven to be as bold as the concept with a big TV campaign and it also works well on the Zaha-Hadid-designed billboard.

The Review

I don’t have a huge amount to say about this campaign. That’s not a negative. It’s just a classic example of a simple and strong idea, well executed. The Southbank photo shoot sits naturally outside the BFI because of the orchestral theme, and it at least tried to bring it to the people by streaming it live. 

The campaign has the presence of a car launch, but without the arrogance; the light touch of wry humour in the advert makes it likeable. Perhaps it’s because I’m a cliché and budget owner of a Nissan Qashqai that the Q8 launch appeals to me as something a little bit special.

In Hindsight

For me, the basics have been done really well, but the campaign doesn’t feel that multi-faceted. I think the online content generated from the launch was considerably weaker than the advert itself. It feels to me like a little bit of an afterthought as opposed to a concerted (excuse me!) effort to create shareable online material. As such, the social conversation wasn’t a huge one. Perhaps it didn’t intend it to be – rather the BFI ‘stunt’ was enough of a top-up to make the advert feel like a campaign and garner some editorial coverage.

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