Claire Danes on a full tank
What if stopping for petrol was the only thing standing between you and a good day?
THE BRIEF – Increase US awareness of Audi TDI
In Europe, consumers are well aware of the benefits of Audi’s TDI clean diesel vehicles. Yet, in the U.S., clean diesel is far from mainstream, representing a mere 1% of the market. Beyond auto enthusiasts, its benefits are essentially unknown. The phenomenal fuel economy and low emissions of TDI make for a truly surprising story for non-car people. With the launch of three new TDI vehicles looming, we had to tell this story in a way that was equally unexpected – and worth talking about.
OUR IDEA – Show customers what can be achieved on one tank
Fuel efficiency is a top driver for our consumers, and we set out to showcase the 700-mile range of an Audi A6 TDI in a way that would make heads turn.
The Primetime Emmy Awards was the ideal entry point – as the top awards competition in the television industry for the U.S., it’s one of the most-watched events of the year, generating buzz and conversation for days afterward.
We honed in on a single benefit of Audi’s TDI range and made it the hero of a short comedic film, and then asked “Homeland” actress Claire Danes (a favourite to win the Emmy for best lead actress in a drama) to star in it.
The film, “Smart Performer,” put two Claires on very different 700-mile journeys. Good Day Claire takes a sun-dappled drive in her Audi A6 TDI, only stopping to frolic with puppies, while Bad Day Claire, who went with a gasoline-powered car, finds herself in a variety of unpleasant situations, finally ending up in jail.
The “Sliding Doors”-inspired premise hilariously answered the question: what happens when you don’t have to stop for fuel?
Broadcast and digital promos launched early and drove viewers to watch our four-minute film on YouTube and tune into the Emmys. Pre-roll, video distribution, paid search, PR and social outreach built buzz in the week leading up to the Emmys.
We partnered with Entertainment Tonight, a leader in celebrity news and entertainment, to air a special feature that added fuel to the project by giving viewers behind-the-scenes footage from the video shoot.
Finally, those lucky enough to attend the Emmy Awards could check out the film as it played backstage in the Green Room, designed and sponsored by Audi.
THE RESULT – Increased awareness and an Emmy to boot
We went beyond the traditional TV spot, capturing consumers’ attention with a truly engaging film featuring one of America’s beloved actresses.
Teasers piqued viewers’ curiosity and drove them to view the film on YouTube. We took a pretty dry topic – fuel – and turned it into an issue that our target consumers could actually relate to.
Not only did Claire Danes walk away a winner on one of the highest-rated Emmys in years, but the film got people talking.
High-profile outlets, including the Wall Street Journal and Variety, chimed in, totaling 74 million PR impressions, and the film received 3.2 million additional views on YouTube.
30% of the Audi social conversation around the Emmys mentioned TDI and, on Emmys day, we saw search for “audi tdi” spike 25%, and visits to the TDI page on audiusa.com spike 74%.
We’d say that’s a smart performance.