Audi Set Up Free Wi-Fi at the New York Auto Show, and Look What the Networks Are Called

A4 takes shots at the BMW 328i

Headshot of Tim Nudd

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).

The image above shows an example of what the networks will look like.

John Matejczyk, founder and creative director of agency Muh-tay-zik | Hof-fer, which orchestrated the stunt, says the network names will be changing as the show goes on. There will be at least 10 networks on at a time. 

"The team who came up with it—Adam Ledbury and Guy Lemberg—were working off a brief that was all about intelligence. So they asked themselves what it would look like to have a modern version of challenger advertising where a superior product takes on the old standard," Matejczyk tells AdFreak.

"And marketing being what it is these days, why not offer a really helpful service in the process?"

The trick isn't new—Wi-Fi network names have been used as ads going back to at least 2008 (when a chain of coffee shops in Holland did this amusing stunt). But it's still a fun way to make life easier for people, including a lot of influencers. 

And yes, the A4 offers in-car Wi-Fi (though to be fair, so does the 328i). 

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@nudd Tim Nudd is a former creative editor of Adweek.