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13 Nov 2018

The getaway car, reimagined

Audi’s and BBH’s latest ad has wowed the critics with a block-buster style bust-up and plenty of wit.

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Memorable adverts often capture a viewer’s attention with a combination of surprise, humour and a product that they can relate to – that’s why Audi’s latest campaign with BBH has been so successful. Following its ThinkBox award for TV Ad Creativity, we’ve taken a look at ‘Escape’ to identify what has made it so successful and what advertisers can learn from the experience.

It is rare that a luxury car is advertised using humour. Often, the sector is very serious, monotone and almost coy, so this approach by Audi stands out. They aren’t taking themselves too seriously and the ad shows clearly that just because a product is premium that doesn’t mean it can’t be playful.

Audi and BBH have redefined the getaway car with this witty, blockbuster-style advertisement that is as memorable for its storyline as it is for the unique optional extras they feature.

The story follows a frantic, noisy, fight scene reminiscent of a Bond film, in the centre of which is a line-up of luxury Audi models in which the protagonist takes refuge. Once inside the A8, it becomes a cocoon from the outside world, dulling the chaos outside and providing him with creature comforts and luxuries such as a fridge, ambient lighting and a foot massager. Playing on the idea of luxury cars being a bubble from the outside world, the hero is put firmly in the centre of this advertising campaign and the focus is on the interior comforts, rather than the exterior styling, as is seen in many other automotive adverts.

The ad emotionally engages Audi’s potential patrons in a way that is memorable and positive – unusual for a high-end manufacturer – this can only result in brand advocacy and positive brand recall within an aspirational consumer group.

Audi’s relationship with BBH has spanned over 30 years. However, in 2017, BBH were approached to revitalise and rethink Audi’s strategy, as they faced a saturated market and a decline in brand desirability. The resulting campaign – ‘Birth’ – improved the brand’s desirability by 7% and helped generate more than £180m of car sales. Campaigns that followed ‘Birth’ have been some of the most memorable and effective examples of the time; there is a distinct ‘personality’ to their collaborations and it has contributed to the development of a strong brand identity in the face of a more complex and saturated market.

It’s no wonder this advertisement has won the Thinkbox award for creativity, as it challenges brand perceptions and creates a memorable story which will likely appear in future ‘Best Car Advert’ lists for years to come.

If you haven’t seen it yet give it a watch here:

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