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RE: The impossible dream: PH Blog

RE: The impossible dream: PH Blog

Wednesday 12th June 2013

The impossible dream: PH Blog

How do you advertise a performance car when the one thing you can't advertise is performance? Ask Audi...



In PH Ad Break we've often looked back at car ads of old and had a bit of a snigger at the 'tasches, the kitsch and occasionally un-PC attitudes on display.

208 GTI sounds dull; simulated with guitar
208 GTI sounds dull; simulated with guitar
Thing is, carmakers are now so constrained in what they can show in their adverts it's little surprise most of them are so bland. Especially in the case of performance cars, given that any suggestion that fast cars can be fun is ruthlessly stamped on. As Toyota discovered last year, that you can't even suggest that in an entirely fictional, fantasy context shows how hardline this legislative censorship has become.

Not so much of a problem for Toyota; it'll be making more money from tree hugging Priuses than sideways GT86s and can divert its marketing budget accordingly. But what if your business is based on performance cars? Or you need to reinvigorate your brand image by harking back to past sporting glories. Basically you're stuffed.

Jag uses F-Type's noise as selling point
Jag uses F-Type's noise as selling point
Peugeot, perhaps unwisely, has put its heart on its sleeve by declaring 'GTI is back' with the ad for the new 'hot' 208. Despite plenty of evidence from anyone who's driven the car that it's no 21st century 205 GTI. Unable to show traditional hot hatch sales techniques like handbrake turns it's instead tried to get around the censors by alluding to exciting engine noise via a man with a Les Paul and slide. Which ends up suggesting the car itself sounds so dull it couldn't speak for itself.

Two brands making a more successful stab at using noise to imply speed rather than showing it are Jaguar and Audi. Anyone who's driven the F-Type reports two things: it sounds spectacular and loves to go sideways. Showing the latter would be an instant red card. So Jaguar's 'your turn' F-Type ad instead shows an F-Type apparently being driven by your gran with an engine soundtrack suggesting it's in fact Harris in a blue-rinse. The mismatch between what you're seeing and what you're hearing jars but the point is made - the car looks ace and sounds rude. Job done.

But my vote in this game goes to Audi, which has an ad featuring a tethered down, partially deconstructed R8 V10 on a set of rollers. Given that suggesting its road cars benefit from Le Mans success would fall foul of the advertising rules it's had to go back to basics, with some success.

An R8 going nowhere still has ability to thrill
An R8 going nowhere still has ability to thrill
It's a simple premise - car fires up, charges through a sequence of redline upshifts making a spectacular noise in the process and then backs off, licks of blue flame pulsing from the exhausts. It makes the point about how improved the car is with the new dual-clutch auto, it raises the hair on the back of your neck with the noise and harks back to an era when Audi was less about LED-enhanced lane thuggery and really did live up to the Vorsprung Durch Technik ideal. There's no suggestion of speed, just appreciation of the technology that might enable it. A welcome return to core Audi values, a clever subversion of ridiculous advertising rules that threaten the very existence of the fast car as a halo model and proof that, done right, car ads can still inspire.

Dan

 

 

Author
Discussion

lockup

Original Poster:

383 posts

165 months

Wednesday 12th June 2013
quotequote all
I need much larger speakers on this computer.

aeropilot

13,942 posts

150 months

Wednesday 12th June 2013
quotequote all
Have to say new R8 ad is advertsing genius, one of the best car ads for years.

BlackCup

1,161 posts

106 months

Wednesday 12th June 2013
quotequote all
Yep R8 advert is amazing!

hdrflow

838 posts

61 months

Wednesday 12th June 2013
quotequote all
OTOH it allows for clever advertising like the Audi one. I'm not fond of all the speed kills regardless mentality but wouldn't want to see irresponsible driving (whatever that may mean) encouraged. So is a balance based on whatever criteria was thought about, never reviewed and probably no longer relevant biggrin. Not everything is run efficiently. At least we can still moan about it wink

Bill Ferry

42 posts

77 months

Wednesday 12th June 2013
quotequote all
Morning..
The Jag advert is sooo effective and clever. Equally, the Audi looks like a full-on racer tied down for testing.. wonderful. And BOTH have a terrific noise any of us should warm to.
Then we have the Peugeot.. oh dear.!
There was a time when Peugeot could do no wrong.. but that was 25 - 30 years ago. All subsequent GTI's from them have truly followed the field rather than led it. And the latest must surely have been smacked with the UGLY stick. Poor little thing.!
WF
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Terminator X

6,538 posts

127 months

Wednesday 12th June 2013
quotequote all
V10 = win! The F Type sounds bloody amazing too though cloud9

TX.

Baryonyx

15,657 posts

82 months

Wednesday 12th June 2013
quotequote all
Oh, the imagine.

Captain Muppet

8,529 posts

188 months

Wednesday 12th June 2013
quotequote all
I love the Audi advert. I don't care that it's a clever way around the stupid rules, it's just a really nice thing to watch.

lufbramatt

2,495 posts

57 months

Wednesday 12th June 2013
quotequote all
Went to see the Great Gatsby with SWMBO 2 weeks ago. Film was gash but they played that Audi advert through the surround sound in the cinema biggrin

LukeR94

2,017 posts

64 months

Wednesday 12th June 2013
quotequote all
Not seen tha Jag advert yet.


the Audi advert however, when I first saw it, or rather heard it, I was gobsmascked, I have never been taken back by the R8, i have always thought it as being dull, and a bit of a show-offs car.

this advert however has completly changed my mind, THE NOISE! Mmmmm

Ex Boy Racer

963 posts

115 months

Wednesday 12th June 2013
quotequote all
lufbramatt said:
Went to see the Great Gatsby with SWMBO 2 weeks ago. Film was gash but they played that Audi advert through the surround sound in the cinema biggrin
Proper bloke...

PhantomPH

2,497 posts

148 months

Wednesday 12th June 2013
quotequote all
I posted this a while back in the Audi forum - loved it, but to me it simply says that in order to make your R8 V10 sound like it should, you have to rip half the exhaust system away.

If you wanted to be picky, it could rub up against false advertising - people expecting the V10 to sound like that out of the box.

P~

TNH

465 posts

70 months

Wednesday 12th June 2013
quotequote all
PhantomPH said:
I posted this a while back in the Audi forum - loved it, but to me it simply says that in order to make your R8 V10 sound like it should, you have to rip half the exhaust system away.

If you wanted to be picky, it could rub up against false advertising - people expecting the V10 to sound like that out of the box.

P~
They do sound like that though..?

JohnGoodridge

482 posts

118 months

Wednesday 12th June 2013
quotequote all
Agree with Dan that part of the Audi ad's cleverness is in it's return to Audi's techno-geek Vorsprung values, and linking them to the noise and colour of the pipes - technology which suggests power.

Love it.

bigfatnick

1,010 posts

125 months

Wednesday 12th June 2013
quotequote all
if only personal injury, ppi or payday loan ads were treated like car ads.

andrewrob

2,757 posts

113 months

Wednesday 12th June 2013
quotequote all
Ex Boy Racer said:
lufbramatt said:
Went to see the Great Gatsby with SWMBO 2 weeks ago. Film was gash but they played that Audi advert through the surround sound in the cinema biggrin
Proper bloke...
Although for full marks he should have got up and walked out after that point

montello

2 posts

53 months

Wednesday 12th June 2013
quotequote all
Was that cylinder deactivation evident in the final(2-1?) downshift? Check the left tailpipe. Cool.

z_chromozone

1,428 posts

172 months

Wednesday 12th June 2013
quotequote all
Anyone notice that there is only hydrogen flame from the leftbank at about 45 sec. Deliberate mapping, or a trick of the light?

jon-

15,201 posts

139 months

Wednesday 12th June 2013
quotequote all
PhantomPH said:
I posted this a while back in the Audi forum - loved it, but to me it simply says that in order to make your R8 V10 sound like it should, you have to rip half the exhaust system away.

If you wanted to be picky, it could rub up against false advertising - people expecting the V10 to sound like that out of the box.

P~
I agreed with this initially, but then the more I watch the video the more I wonder if what we're hearing is actually too quiet to be an unsilenced V10...

A friend had a decatted tubi'd gallardo and that was many times fiercer than this, to the point it wouldn't sound good in this sort of scenario. I've more regular run cars and bikes unsilenced before and again, this just doesn't sound aggressive enough.

It does sound good though, fair play to Audi.

Edit: It's safe to ignore me: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YWFVSefUgTk

dandare

514 posts

177 months

Wednesday 12th June 2013
quotequote all
I thought all three ads were really good, but the Audi was the best. Spine-tingling sounds.