Audi spray-paints a ginormous ad in Germany for the all-new A7

By David Kiley on Mon Dec 6 2010

An ad in Berlin for the all-new 2012 Audi A7 Sportback looks fairly normal—except it was created with spray paint and takes up 10,800 square feet. Translated to English, the billboard reads, "Nothing is more inspiring than a blank sheet of paper. It is the opportunity to create something unique." The A7 Sportback is the German automaker's answer to the Porsche Panamera. Of course, that seemed like a good idea at Audi before its parent company, Volkswagen AG, actually decided to buy Porsche AG this year.

Audi says its runaway lawnmower video predates Toyota recalls

Posted on Tue Feb 23 2010

Audi has been getting ornery lately. It recently took aim at BMW with a bitchy ad called "Friendly Competition" that sarcastically lamented its German rival's poor showing, relative to Audi, in three Car and Driver comparisons. Which is why this video might raise some eyebrows. The 30-second short, titled "Toyota Lawnmower Recall," shows a man attempting to cut the grass but instead getting a belly-down ride across the lawn and into the street. Basically, it's one of those that-looks-painful-but-in-a-funny-way Jackass-type stunts that you'd be smart not to try at home. It also seems to be a below-the-belt jab at Toyota, which recalled millions of vehicles in January because of sticky gas pedals. But who is taking the jab? A URL that flashes at the end of the video,, leads to an Audi Web site for E-Tron, Audi's electric concept car. An Audi rep tells us the brand created the short, but—and this is a crucial point—the video was actually released last September. The rep says it resurfaced recently after someone—no one knows who—put the new title on it referring to Toyota. The video, the rep says, was designed to show the advantages of electronic engines over gas-powered ones. It seems Audi's not guilty in initiating this instance of unfriendly competition.

—Posted by Todd Wasserman

Audi tries to herd all those barrels of foreign oil back on the boat

Posted on Wed Jul 1 2009

Audi rolls out the barrels in this new ad by Venables Bell & Partners for its Turbo Direct Injection clean-diesel engine technology, but these aren't barrels of fun. In fact, they look rather sinister as they make their way down the streets of a highway, suburban street, small town and city. So, it's surprising that most people just seem bemused by them. If a bunch of barrels were rolling down my street, I'd run out my house yelling "What the hell is going on?" like that girl in Poltergeist. But rather than build a retaining wall to keep the barrels out, Audi suggests using TDI to send them back to wherever they came from (so the Chinese could buy them, presumably). As visual metaphors go, this certainly gets the point across, as does the tagline, "Diesel. It's no longer a dirty word." I guess that has a better ring than "Diesel. The other pink fluid" or maybe "Diesel. It's not just for semis anymore."

—Posted by Todd Wasserman

Audi Q5 just handles so much better than a giant cardboard box

Posted on Tue May 19 2009

This Audi Q5 ad is one of those commercials that looks like it's for the real thing but is actually for a fake company that's meant to provide a negative contrast to the actual brand. Are you still with me? Another recent example of this is PJ Blands, an ersatz restaurant that was invented to promote Chili's. You know right away that PJ Blands is fake because all the food is made of cardboard. Audi takes a startlingly similar approach with this ad for Chip's Motors, which features the proprietor crooning, "I'd love to sell you an SUV," as he and his wife dance in front of ... cardboard gas guzzlers. I don't know who came up with the idea first, but I prefer Chip's for its dreamy song, which has a very David Lynch vibe. I almost expect Chip to pick up a dismembered ear in the parking lot or see a naked, screaming Isabella Rosellini run out of the dealership.

—Posted by Todd Wasserman



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