McKinney Makes Progress for Audi

NEW YORK McKinney + Silver’s first Audi imaging campaign in two years features series of visuals following the technological progression of objects including a wheel and a headlight.

A TV spot, directed by Lance Acord of Park Pictures, broke in mid-March and three print ads begin appearing on Monday. One print ad presents four pictures: a wooden wheel, a bicycle wheel, an antique car wheel and finally an Audi wheel. Copy states, in part: “Move forward. Go where no one else has gone before, with road-gripping quattro all-wheel drive.”

Another ad shows the moon, a candle, a lightbulb and Audi’s speed-sensitive headlights that “pivot when you steer.” The TV spot depicts similar series of four images. All retain the tagline, “Never follow.”

The sets of four images were meant to evoke the idea of progression, according to Jonathan Cude, group creative director at the Raleigh, N.C., shop. “They were about reinforcing a link between the four rings of Audi and the idea of being progressive and moving forward.”

Even the song in the spot, created by Endless Noise, represents a progression. It starts out as an acoustic version of David Bowie’s 1974 “Rebel Rebel,” morphs into the rock version and then into Bowie’s 2003 “Never Gonna Get Old.”

“Bowie symbolizes the spirit of progressiveness and ‘Never follow,’ ” Cude said about the musical choice.

Other McKinney creatives involved with the campaign include group creative director Dave Cook, art director Dave Hermanas and copywriter Jon Wagner.

The last Audi image campaign broke in February 2002 and introduced the tagline, “Never follow.” One ad in that effort showed an Audi TT pulling out of a “garage” that turns out to be a New York art museum. A voiceover intoned, “All great works of art belong in a museum.” Subsequent ads have focused on specific products.

Print ads will run in Sports Illustrated, The New Yorker, Black Enterprise and Motor Trend, among other publications. Audi spent $85 million on advertising in 2003, according to Nielsen Monitor-Plus.