Audi expands marketing commitment in the USA: prominent role at the Academy Awards
Fleet of 40 Audi Q7 TDI Clean Diesel cars chauffeurs stars to the red carpet / Continued major marketing activities following Super Bowl commercial and presentation of the presidential inauguration / Board Member for Marketing and Sales Schwarzenbauer: "W
"Thanks to new models such as the A4 and top models such as the Audi R8, Audi in the US reached the highest brand awareness and best image in its history last year. In order now to further gain market share, we are increasing our marketing budget for the USA," said Peter Schwarzenbauer, Member of the Board of Management for Marketing and Sales of AUDI AG. A full 15 to 20 percent more is to be invested in the brand this year in order to transform this crisis into an opportunity. "While others are hitting the brakes, we continue our extensive marketing initiative," said Schwarzenbauer. "Behaving counter-cyclical will further strengthen us in these times." This also explains how Audi was able to further expand its market share during January 2009 when compared with its competitors (from 6,7% to 7,2% of the Import High Group).
Audi also accelerated its efforts last week in Los Angeles. Starting last Tuesday, white Audi Q7 TDI Clean Diesel cars featuring clean diesel technology began transporting stars like Michael Douglas, Debra Messing, Angela Bassett, Sheryl Crow, Gwen Stefani, Marisa Tomei, Kristin Davis and Kate Winslet. The entire fleet of 40 Audi Q7 cars stood at the ready last night to chauffeur the celebrities to the red carpet at the Kodak Theater, where the 81st Academy Awards ceremony was held.
The presence at the Oscars of the brand with the four rings is only the latest step in the company's marketing campaign in the USA. Audi's 2009 commercial during the Super Bowl, for example, was the second time that the company advertised during that major American sporting event. This event offers high impact: both 60-second commercials were seen by an audience of about one billion viewers who tune into the football spectacular each year.
When Barack Obama was inaugurated as president on January 20, 2009, Audi acted as a partner to the United States' three biggest TV networks - ABC, CBS and NBC - to enable them to broadcast this historic moment with almost no commercial breaks. This was the first time a cooperation with the media of this type was struck - and Audi reached out to more than 19 million viewers on TV that day. For the Internet broadcast of the inauguration, Audi was even the exclusive sponsor. In addition, an eight-page advertisement placed in major newspapers including USA Today, The Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post and The Boston Globe reached more than 8.6 million readers.
AUDI AG sold a total of 1,003,000 cars in 2008 and thus achieved its thirteenth consecutive record year. Audi produces vehicles in Ingolstadt and Neckarsulm (Germany), Györ (Hungary), Changchun (China) and Brussels (Belgium). Aurangabad in India saw the start of local production of the Audi A6 at the end of 2007 and of the Audi A4 in early October 2008. The company is active in more than 100 markets worldwide. AUDI AG's wholly owned subsidiaries include Automobili Lamborghini Holding S.p.A. in Sant'Agata Bolognese (Italy) and quattro GmbH in Neckarsulm. Audi currently employs around 57,000 people worldwide, including 45,000 in Germany. The brand with the four rings invests more than €2 billion each year in order to sustain the company's technological lead embodied in its "Vorsprung durch Technik" slogan. Audi plans to significantly increase the number of models in its portfolio by 2015 to 40. The Audi brand celebrates its 100th birthday in 2009. The company was founded by August Horch in Zwickau on July 16, 1909; he named it Audi after the Latin translation of his surname ("hark!"). AUDI AG will present the complete results for the 2008 business year at its Annual Press Conference on March 10, 2009 in Ingolstadt.