Audi Channels ‘Godfather’ for Super Bowl

NEW YORK Audi’s first Super Bowl spot since 1991 will use one of the themes, if not scenes, from the classic movie The Godfather. The spot will run during the first quarter of the Super Bowl.

Audi CMO Scott Keogh said that the concept is to use the theme of the 1972 movie as new world vs. old world in terms of luxury cars.

“It’s a classic struggle,” Keogh said. “And we’re taking it and applying it to Audi and using it to explain the nature of that conflict.”

The spot, via Venables Bell & Partners, San Francisco, plays on the attitudes of the characters in the movie, and “is not extremely verbose,” Keogh said. “We are not literal in the spot; it is open to interpretation.”

The spot will drive people to a Web site for the featured product, the R8. The ad will be posted on the site, along with outtakes from the production shoot.

Audi, with record U.S. sales last year of 93,506 units, has positioned itself as a challenger to established luxury giants like BMW and Mercedes-Benz. All three posted sales increases last year, even as the industry posted an overall drop of 2.5 percent, per Autodata, Woodcliff Lake, N.J.

Audi will capitalize on its Super Bowl presence with event marketing in the host city, Phoenix. The Audi Forum Phoenix is a temporary branded storefront open to media, dealers and VIPs, similar to the permanent storefront in New York and eight other cities worldwide. The forum’s informational exhibits and product allow visitors to engage with the Audi brand.

Audi of America spent almost $70 million on media in 2006 and $28 million January-October 2007, per Nielsen Monitor-Plus.