Case Study

Audi – The Future is Now

“Vorsprung durch Technik” – advancement through technology – has long been Audi’s bedrock. With a new wave of innovation, and challengers such as Tesla bringing exceptional change to the auto market, Audi wanted to restate its tech credentials and investigate how technology is changing the world we live in.

The brand’s new “Sixth Sense” campaign featured 12 innovations that together act as a driver’s sixth sense, helping him or her do everything from park to anticipate oncoming traffic. So we needed to draw a connection between technological innovation and the senses, to show how the two are inextricably linked. After all, many of humanity’s biggest inventions have extended the capabilities of our five senses – whether a light bulb helping us see in the dark or a telephone allowing us to communicate across vast distances.

The AEM process

Our insight and research into The Times/Sunday Times audience discovered that 420,000 readers were planning to buy a new car within three months. A combination of emotional and rational messages were needed to demonstrate Audi’s credentials as a technology-driven brand and encourage our audience of tech-savvy, progressive businessmen and women to consider, test drive and purchase one of its cars.

In our everyday lives we are surrounded by technology, from AI to smart devices to the Internet of Things. Most of the time we take it for granted, but it has changed how we think and act, enhanced our standard of living and integrates seamlessly into every area of our lives. From kitchen gadgets that “print” food to the use of robotics in gene therapy, we are shifting to a world where “ordinary” reality is changing and what we thought was the future, or simply impossible, is happening now.

The idea

To show how Audi is leading the way in technology, we found pioneers doing trailblazing work in the sensory spheres and took an in-depth look at how innovation and imagination is shifting our understanding of touch, taste, smell, sound and vision.

This meant travelling to Berlin to meet scent artist Sissel Tolaas in her laboratory, where she creates smells that can do anything from bring back memories to repel unwanted suitors, paying a visit the Victoria and Albert Museum in London to see Julian Melchiorri’s oxygen-creating chandelier in action, and tuning into George Philip Wright’s musical synthesiser that can turn an individual’s voice into a complete orchestra. Through a series of videos and features, we showed how these inspiring individuals are changing the way we live.

The Sunday Times Magazine published a dedicated “Future of Transport“ edition, which included a bespoke cover wrap, created exclusively for Audi by Bridge Studio. This featured a striking visual of the new Audi A8 and a breakdown of its innovations to show Audi’s technological prowess and underline its association with the future of transport.

The results

Overall we reached 2.93m adults, increased Audi’s brand favourability by 14% and outperformed targets on all fronts.

Of those exposed, 67% said they “would recommend Audi”. That’s more than double our 28% benchmark.

Our videos reached 1.25m views – beating our target by a quarter of a million – with an average view time of 51.1s.

On Unruly video distribution, the completion rate was 20% versus 16% benchmark.

Net recall of the campaign reached 37% compared with our 30% goal.

  • Over 1.25m Video views over target by 250,000
  • 2.93m reach increasing brand favourability by 14%
  • 67% Times Readers surveyed would recommend Audi