Audi and Airbnb Offer Up a Crazy House in Death Valley, and a Great Ad to Go With It

Up for a little 'Desolation'?

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.

Subtly titled "Desolation," the clip was shot in and around the Rondolino house, and it traffics in dry humor—very dry humor, given the desert locale, with Dad getting a tad absent-minded beneath the relentless rays of the sun:

A java run in that heat? Maybe they were planning to make ice coffee. (Pretty cool, though, how that old-timey phonograph clack-clacks along with the soundtrack.) 

"We came across the Death Valley home on Airbnb," Loren Angelo, Audi of America's vp of marketing, tells AdFreak. "We immediately knew this would be the place for this car to call home, away from traffic lights, speed limits, congestion that might slow you down."

The target audience, he says, consists of "anyone with a sense of adventure. Since we air during the Emmys, we hope the campaign resonates with the wide audience that tunes in. But more specifically, we know that Gen X and millennials will respond most to the campaign, as those audiences are more likely to book a travel experience like this."

And if the folks who book the place start freaking out from all that arid desolation, the R8's ability to top 200 mph should get them back to civilization in no time.

More pics of the Rondolino house below. 

CREDITS
Client: Audi of America
Spot: "Desolation"
Agency: Venables Bell & Partners
Executive Creative Director: Will McGinness
Creative Directors: Justin Moore, Erich Pfeifer
Associate Creative Director, Copywriter: Matt Keats
Associate Creative Director, Art Director: Matt Miller
Senior Art Director: Kyle Jones
Director of Integrated Production: Craig Allen
Senior Producer: Matt Flaker
Senior Art Producer: Shelly Amin
Senior Art Producer: Joe Rossman 
Production Company: MJZ
Director: Craig Gillespie
Director of Photography: Phillip Lesourd
Executive Producer: Emma Wilcockson
Producer: Martha Davis
Editing Company: Final Cut Editorial
Head of Production/Final Cut: Suzy Ramirez
Editor: Crispin Struthers
Music Company: Human
Composer: James Lei Bow
Creative Director: Craig Deleon
Executive Producer: Jonathan Sanford
Sound Design and Mix: 740 Sound
Mixer: Chris Pinkston
Sound Designers: Chris Pinkston, A. Josh Reinhardt, Rob Marshall
Executive Producer: Scott Ganary
Producer: Jeff Martin
Associate Producer of Mix: Geena Richard
VFX/Finish: Framestore
Colorist: Beau Leon
VFX Senior Executive Producer: James Razzall
VFX Senior Producer: James Alexander
VFX Creative Director: Alex Thomas
Photographer: Sean Klingelhoefer
Head of Brand Management: David Corns
Brand Directors: Chris Bergen, Ally Humpherys
Brand Supervisor: Alexis Lovett 
Assistant Brand Manager: Bri Jones
Project Manager: Talya Fisher, Leah Murphy

@DaveGian davegia@hotmail.com David Gianatasio is a longtime contributor to Adweek, where he has been a writer and editor for two decades. Previously serving as Adweek's New England bureau chief and web editor, he remains based in Boston.
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