Fans of 'Monday Night Football' will get a heavy dose of Audi.
Audi of America is the exclusive automotive sponsor in the fourth quarter of ABC's broadcast. An Audi spokesman said the high-profile buy will allow it to reinforce the theme that its cars are high-performance and fun to drive.
'This is a change for Audi,' he said. 'This we believe elevates the brand more than our past work. In our past, we've been very model-specific, very model-focused.'
The new spots, from McKinney & Silver, Raleigh, N.C., will continue on cable and spot TV for the rest of the year. Print ads will appear in November newspapers and magazines, including Architectural Digest, Bon Appetit, Conde Nast Traveler, Food & Wine, Forbes, Fortune and Vanity Fair.
Print and TV use traffic signs as a motif, adding a twist to the sign's message. For instance, a print spread for the TT roadster follows a 'Merge' sign with 'With your dreams.'
TV spots feature narrators talking about Audi and how it fits into their life. In 'Lawn chair,' a 50ish man says, 'I'm not going to be one of those old men who sit in a lawn chair in the driveway and regret adventures I never took.'
The spot closes with a 'Do not pass' sign followed by the word 'Joy.'
A more whimsical spot shows a younger male driving while his dog hangs out the rear window. The driver says, 'In my car, my dog is no longer fat and slow. He is a god - a fast, beautiful, drooling god.'
Although the spots show different vehicles, they don't push the vehicles' selling points, focusing instead on different aspects of the brand, the spokesman said.
Audi is pushing performance, but didn't want to do what he called the 'quick cuts, winding road' kind of ads.
'There are a lot of companies out there saying, `We're the fastest,' being very hard-edged,' he said. 'We had to be true to what Audi is and what the performance means to the driver.'
The spokesman would not disclose spending. According to Competitive Media Reporting, Audi, a division of Volkswagen of America, spent $74.5 million in measured media in 1998.