Audi will be part of the Big Game's advertising lineup this year. The luxury automaker tapped its creative shop, Venables Bell & Partners, to handle the spot, according to Miranda Harper, director of communications, brand and lifestyle for Audi. This year marks Audi's ninth Super Bowl ad.
At the start of Audi Spain's "The Doll That Chose to Drive," a row of Barbie-esque dolls in the pink section of a toy aisle apply makeup, perform ballet and push a baby stroller.
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Cultural relevance can be bittersweet, as Venables Bell & Partners learned in 2016. Just as the agency and client Audi were negotiating to use David Bowie's "Starman" in a Super Bowl ad, the rock icon tragically passed away at 69.
There's one thing almost everyone watching Monday night's first presidential debate will be able to agree on—that this new Audi commercial, "Duel," airing during the telecast, is a brilliant bit of perfectly timed entertainment.
"You think things are gonna stay the same, then one day, boom, 25 million hits in two days." The Tyrannosaurus Rex is real. And we have ruined his life by teasing him, en masse and without shame, over his useless little arms. "I became a laughingstock," our friend laments. (To be fair, we thought he was extinct, but maybe that's a callous excuse.) "I lost the lust for life that I had. I just couldn't go out anymore." This unexpected heartbreaker of an ad goes on to explore the depths of T-Rex's debilitating depression. He stares dejectedly out the window and spends all his time in bed. Sports don't help, and basic homemaking is just too difficult. His pillows are covered in deep slashes, like the shredded portrait of the bereft prince in Disney's Beauty and the Beast.
If you fancy hanging out in the sizzling-hot middle of nowhere, with an endless expanse of sand all around and the occasional scorpion scuttling by for distraction, Audi's got the promotion for you. As part of its Emmy Awards sponsorship, the auto brand and Airbnb will offer fans the chance to book three-day getaways at the luxury Rondolino Residence in Death Valley, Nevada. The place is so isolated, it has no actual address—just coordinates on a map. Guests get to drive a 2017 Audi R8 during their stay, which also includes chauffeur service from the airport, meals prepared by a personal chef and, according to press materials, "evening entertainment/activities." (Scorpion races, perhaps?) To tout the promo, Venables Bell & Partners created the fun spot below—it almost feels like a Super Bowl ad—which is running online and will also air during ABC's Emmys telecast on Sunday.
Audi hits the New York Auto Show this week with the message that its A4 has surpassed the BMW 328i in many areas, like horsepower, acceleration and technologies including lane assist and CarPlay. And it's taking some shots at BMW with a sly technology hack as well. Audi has set up a bunch of free Wi-Fi networks—Wi-Fi is typically hard to find at auto shows, and usually password-protected—and given them names that double as ads for the A4 (and in fact, as attack ads on the 328i as well).