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      09-21-2010, 11:09 PM   #1
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Smile BMW vs. Audi Marketing Strategies Compared

Optimedia CEO Antony Young makes a fascinating analysis of the BMW's media strategies against Audi's. Young compares the two companies' video strategies, online and social media presence, mobile applications, magazine advertisements, film sponsorship and product placement. Results inside.

BMW vs. Audi: The Best Media Plan on Four Wheels?

source: http://adage.com/mediaworks/article?article_id=145990

Optimedia CEO Antony Young Analyzes the Media Strategies Behind Two Leading Luxury Auto Brands

by Antony Young
Published: September 20, 2010


Antony Young One of my first memories of the advertising industry was walking past an ad agency in my hometown and noticing a row of European cars parked outside. I recall thinking at the time: "Hey, I'm not exactly sure what this company does, but I wouldn't mind getting a job there!" This month, we test drove the media strategies for BMW and Audi.

The automotive category is consistently among the biggest, most competitive and innovative media spenders. While automotive manufacturers typically focus on model-led advertising, both BMW and Audi put a much stronger emphasis on their brands. This is reflected in the allocation of media spending this year, when each spent between 50% and 55% of its media budget on brand or range ads for multiple models.



Creative executions



In 2010 BMW embarked on one of its biggest branding campaigns to date. A new theme, "The Joy of Driving," was integrated into every television, digital and print ad as well as event and team sponsorships. The theme shifted the focus from the car to the car owner. The "ultimate driving machine" slogan still appears in the ads, but the shift in emphasis was apparent with copy in one of its print ads that read "At BMW we don't make cars, we make Joy." Audi takes on BMW and Lexus



Audi has pushed two significant platforms so far this year. The first continued its tongue-in-cheek series of comparative ads. One commercial, for example, portrays Audi as a better alternative to a Lexus, Mercedes and even a Ferrari. A second spot directly targeting BMW, titled "BMW Can Relate to the Runners Up," shows several competitive scenarios after which the winners boast and the "runners-up" have to sit there and watch. That ad highlights that Audi has defeated BMW in Car and Driver magazine's model comparisons for the past three years. The second platform sought to establish Audi's sustainability credentials, launching its A3 TDI diesel technology through a spot called "Green Police."

RATINGS

Outstanding
Highly effective
Good
Disappointing
A disaster




Video strategy (broadcast, online, mobile)

BMW
Audi

Both automotive brands developed comprehensive broadcast, online and mobile video programs.

Audi's broadcast and online video placements centered heavily on major sports events -- which meant Audi outspent BMW on network television. Audi launched its "Green Police" commercial in this year's Super Bowl. The spot itself garnered a lot of buzz, getting more than 2.2 million views to date on YouTube. But the commercial was also teased with a series of Green Police mock PSA videos on a YouTube Green Police channel. One spot advocated avoiding "napkin abuse" to save a billion pounds of napkins from landfills each year.

Audi immediately followed with a substantial presence during NBC's Winter Olympics coverage. In addition to the standard commercial buys, Audi -- a U.S. ski team sponsor -- produced a documentary about the U.S. Ski Team called "Truth in Motion" that aired on NBC prior to the Games on Jan. 30. Audi also promoted the team through webisodes distributed on sites such as Facebook and Blip.tv and in Audi's monthly newsletter.

Other video buys this year included March Madness and the FIFA World Cup. Finally, for this year's involvement with the American LeMans car race, Audi worked with Speed network to produce real-time streaming of the race on SkyGrid, an app that aggregates real-time news for Apple's iPad.

BMW's 2010 Joy campaign kicked off in the Winter Olympics. Spots included 60-second executions showing how BMW brings drivers "Joy" in driving and in fuel efficiency. BMW integrated the message in the Games by sponsoring NBC's "Olympic Moments of Joy" segments. On the digital side, BMW executed "Joy" with homepage takeovers on NBC-owned sites that connected BMW branded "Golden Moments of Joy" videos and the "Golden Moments of Joy" section on NBCOlympics.com. NBC's Olympic iPhone app and the MSNBCOlympics.com site also featured "Joy" infused banners and pre-roll video.

While Audi's television buy was more centered in network TV, BMW ran a much heavier skew on local broadcast and cable. In contrast to Audi's sport-skewed schedule, BMW bought around news -- FOX News, CNN, CNBC and MSNBC -- and general entertainment on networks such as TNT, TBS and USA.


Online and Social

BMW
Audi

Both companies have a significant online display presence, but BMW out voiced Audi in this category in terms of sheer impressions with nearly four times the load. They also had a higher ratio of rich media content. Over a third of BMW's impressions served over the past year were rich media display placements versus less than 5% for Audi.



The company's YouTube page has been branded the new BMW TV. It features a collection of BMW television ads, branded short-form videos and racing and driving footage of all of the company's models. The featured video shows the travels of 12 Canadian BMW enthusiasts who were given the chance to drive their favorite BMW models on the high speed motorways across Europe.

Audi took a big position in Yahoo during the FIFA World Cup and was the exclusive sponsor for Yahoo's coverage of the entire month long sporting event.

Both ran schedules on endemic automotive sites such as Edmunds.com, AutoWeek, Auto Trends, Car and Driver and AutoTrader.




Audi's Facebook page currently features an online petition to bring Audi's TT RS model into the U.S market. Its YouTube page has several driving videos of Audi models and some of the company's most recent commercials.

To generate buzz for its Green Police Super Bowl spot, Audi hosted the "Audi Efficiency Challenge" during Super Bowl weekend. The challenge pitched influential journalists against NFL players, including Chad Henne of the Miami Dolphins and Osi Umenyiora of the New York Giants, in a race to determine who could achieve the best fuel-efficiency in the Audi Q7 TDI clean diesel SUV while driving from Audi headquarters in Herndon, Va., to Miami. Each participant's progress was tracked on Facebook and Twitter.


Mobile

BMW
Audi

Mobile apps have become a new plaything for marketers and, you would have to believe, a worthwhile channel to engage a significant number of the right target customers. Kudos to both BMW and Audi for maintaining a rich depth of related apps and podcasts on the iPhone, iTouch and iPad platforms. They produce a variety of podcasts, video content, brand experiences and related news content for their enthusiasts. I feel BMW has a slightly richer level of content through BMW magazine's iPad apps and BMW TV podcasts. The BMW Z4 features a 360 degree view of the new Z4 roadster, which does a nice job for the brand. I also liked its Motorsport Le Mans 2010 app which was populated with some rich content.



Audi's A4 Driving Challenge driving simulation, one of its most popular gaming apps, had good graphics but, I have to admit, leaves me a little dizzy.

While video and interactive experiences are the vogue, I would have liked to have seen some quality audio. I'm sure many drivers who are able to connect their iPods to their cars' audio systems would be open to listening to some content that adds to their driving experience.


Magazine

BMW
Audi

To promote the Joy launch, BMW ran a series of spreads in January issues of Conde Nast titles such as Bon Appétit, Conde Nast Traveler, GQ, Vanity Fair, W, Wired and The New Yorker. A notable print execution of the campaign was a custom four-page spread in Vanity Fair's March Hollywood issue featuring vintage images of Elvis and his BMW 507 under the title "Joy is Timeless."



Much of Audi's print focus has been centered around its Sportscar Experience Driving School. Audi tends to focus on endemic automobile and racing publications.


Film sponsorship and product placement

BMW N/A
Audi

Audi activated a marketing promotion around "Iron Man 2" that included prominent product placements for the R8 Spyder and the A8 sedan. Related marketing efforts included "Iron Man" themed spots in movie theaters, on late night TV and a presence on Fandango.com and Movies.com. An episode of "Entertainment Tonight" integrated the R8 Spyder by featuring Robert Downey Jr. and director Jon Favreau discussing the vehicle as well as host Mark Steines covering it in a segment. Audi also sponsored the re-launch of Marvel.com, which showcased the car via a digital comic book.

Audi's social media aspect of its "Iron Man" marketing came about in the "Tony Stark Innovation Challenge" contest, which promoted the movie's theme of technology as a force for good. Consumers were challenged to submit two-minute videos containing ideas for inventions that promoted cleaner living to TonyStarkInnovationChallenge.com and then promote the videos on Facebook, Twitter and MySpace in order to garner comments, discussion and consumer ratings.

"Iron Man 2" was not the only movie with an Audi. Tina Fey and Steve Carrell's characters stole the R8 Coupe from Mark Wahlberg in "Date Night," while Tom Cruise and Cameron Diaz drove the S5 Cabriolet in "Knight and Day."


Summary

BMW
Audi


These are two premiere marketers in an incredibly competitive category. Both scored superbly on my ratings. The emphasis on engagement over impressions was a notable feature of both marketers' media strategies. BMW is doing a lot of things right with its brand in media, particularly in online and mobile. But Audi nudged ahead on the basis of a very dynamic television and video strategy that helped elevate and create distinctiveness for its brand. There's a lot that goes into driving sales beyond just advertising, but a 27.1% year to date increase in Audi's sales is hard to argue against.

Research and data compiled by Nora Scullin at Optimedia.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR Antony Young is CEO of Optimedia US -- a Publicis Groupe-owned media planning and buying agency headquartered in New York. He is a regular contributor on brand media strategy for Advertising Age. Follow him on Twitter antonyyoung.

Source: http://adage.com/mediaworks/article?article_id=145990
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      09-22-2010, 10:55 AM   #2
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Interesting read..
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      09-22-2010, 11:14 AM   #3
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That was a really interesting and well written article, nice find!

I actually agree with him too, Audi's marketing has been some of the best this past year, but I really like BMW's JOY campaign, and their new "Joy Uncensored" spots.
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      09-22-2010, 11:16 AM   #4
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Definitely would like to see some more BMWs in movies!
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      09-22-2010, 11:17 AM   #5
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BMW is like a kid that worked his ass off and made it on his own.

Audi on the other hand, is the trust fund baby.
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      09-22-2010, 11:23 AM   #6
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I wish they made more movies like the ones for the e39 m5 with Clive Owen, those were neat...

Also, I did see an X5 in Ghost Writer which looked like it was definitely sponsored but who knows.
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      09-22-2010, 11:24 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kyleb350 View Post
Definitely would like to see some more BMWs in movies!
The thing is BMW needs a halo model like the R8 for movies. Aside from having 3 series scattered here and there in movies there is not one model (maybe a M6 or M5) in BMW's lineup that would befit a character like Tony Stark in IronMan.

Regular 3 and 5 series are so common that someone watching a movie who sees one won't really care that much about it. On the other hand, having a car like an R8 gets that "Oh wow!" reaction from the audience. Try to imagine the scene in Ironman where the Audi was driving along the coast and there were all those closeup shots of the car with a 3 or 5. It would just look stupid.
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      09-22-2010, 11:40 AM   #8
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I like the vintage BMW ads during MAD MEN. I also would love to see another BMW FILMS series with Clive Owen as THE DRIVER. Those were sweet.
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      09-22-2010, 12:11 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 3XTR3M3 View Post
BMW is like a kid that worked his ass off and made it on his own.

Audi on the other hand, is the trust fund baby.
+1
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      09-22-2010, 12:40 PM   #10
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Hahaha that's a good cover photo.
Interesting article.
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      09-22-2010, 12:57 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Seminole View Post
The thing is BMW needs a halo model like the R8 for movies. Aside from having 3 series scattered here and there in movies there is not one model (maybe a M6 or M5) in BMW's lineup that would befit a character like Tony Stark in IronMan.

Regular 3 and 5 series are so common that someone watching a movie who sees one won't really care that much about it. On the other hand, having a car like an R8 gets that "Oh wow!" reaction from the audience. Try to imagine the scene in Ironman where the Audi was driving along the coast and there were all those closeup shots of the car with a 3 or 5. It would just look stupid.
They could always stick a modded 3er or 1er into a Fast and Furious film lol
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      09-22-2010, 01:00 PM   #12
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i agree on a lot of points, but giving bmw an N/A for movie presence? There's an M5 in 'from paris with love' for example and i've seen a lot of movies lately with at least one bmw being used by the main character. Has audi been used in more of em as a cool car? yes, but you can't say they get none of it at all ? :/

Quote:
Originally Posted by kyleb350 View Post
They could always stick a modded 3er or 1er into a Fast and Furious film lol
yep like that modded M5 (well actually an old 528 or something made to look like an M5) in i believe the first or second one
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      09-22-2010, 01:00 PM   #13
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Audi's advertising makes me dislike Audi as a brand and is a bad reflection on their customers.

Also the study is now out of date, BMW announced a little while ago it was moving back into product placement in films, tv and music videos.
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      09-22-2010, 02:01 PM   #14
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An advertising strategy that compares a product in this case Audi to BMW reenforces the fact in the consumer's mind that Audi is attempting to be as good or better than the established benchmark, BMW. Throughout history of advertising campaigns, anytime an advertiser states we're as is good or better than number one, that strategy has failed. Regardless what you may think of the product, evidence says look no further than Pepsi versus Coca Cola.
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      09-22-2010, 03:37 PM   #15
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LOVE the picture for this thread on the main page:

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      09-22-2010, 03:46 PM   #16
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I hate the "Green Police" advert. Makes me want to run right through those tree huggers in my gas guzzling x5.
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      09-22-2010, 04:47 PM   #17
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      09-22-2010, 05:22 PM   #18
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Video strategy (broadcast, online, mobile)

Audi beats BMW?


Hello? Did you guys forget about the Bmw films series that brought a massive amount of sales ?
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      09-22-2010, 06:02 PM   #19
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I don't really understand Audi's spending of funds to have Iron Man drive an R8. That's a $120,000+ vehicle that most people can't even dream of affording. Are grownups going to buy an Audi because Tony Stark drove one? One could argue that it engraved the Audi image in people's minds, I guess. Cool guy in a cool car, but I wonder how much that translated into actual sales. Are people who are wavering between an A4 and 328 really going to be swayed by that product placement, I'd argue no. I think the more expensive German cars would not fit the same pop culture persuasion as the Asian rockets of Fast and the Furious.

One of the best Audi placements I can remember was in Ronin, when the driver asked for something with some kick (forget the actual adjective), and then said "something like an Audi S8." Funny in that same movie, De Niro chases thieves who are driving a 5 Series.

People always forget that BMW cracked the Bond franchise with the roadster and remote controlled 7 series.
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      09-22-2010, 07:03 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chemgeek View Post
I don't really understand Audi's spending of funds to have Iron Man drive an R8. That's a $120,000+ vehicle that most people can't even dream of affording. Are grownups going to buy an Audi because Tony Stark drove one? One could argue that it engraved the Audi image in people's minds, I guess. Cool guy in a cool car, but I wonder how much that translated into actual sales. Are people who are wavering between an A4 and 328 really going to be swayed by that product placement, I'd argue no. I think the more expensive German cars would not fit the same pop culture persuasion as the Asian rockets of Fast and the Furious.

One of the best Audi placements I can remember was in Ronin, when the driver asked for something with some kick (forget the actual adjective), and then said "something like an Audi S8." Funny in that same movie, De Niro chases thieves who are driving a 5 Series.

People always forget that BMW cracked the Bond franchise with the roadster and remote controlled 7 series.

1) Theres a few reasons why this is done. Branding is essential for brands like Audi and BMW and placing an Audi R8 in a movie like Iron Man is important.

2) The fact that the Audi R8 exists adds a lot of credibility to the other performance cars Audi creates. Just like the M3 adds credibility to the 3 series line up.

3) How does an R8 fit in a movie like Iron Man? This is a great way for Audi to position itself for its future market. Just like I and many other grew up with Ferrari and Lamborghini posters on our walls, many of this generations kids will grow up with R8s on their walls. And when the time comes for them to choose between a 328 and an A4, they will sway towards an Audi.

Look at Lexus with the LF-A. Sure the LF-A will bring profits to Lexus, but more importantly, it will bring credibility to their F series cars and puts them up as a contender to other supercars.
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      09-22-2010, 07:29 PM   #21
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Nice article I must say and I'll give it a

However, I wonder if Audi has a informative site like this ?

It is in German, however, you can as you know translate the text

As for advertisement media or otherwise, I think the product speaks for itself

my 2 cents anyway
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      09-22-2010, 07:41 PM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 3XTR3M3 View Post
BMW is like a kid that worked his ass off and made it on his own.

Audi on the other hand, is the trust fund baby.
lol.

Audi was on the brink of pulling out of North America in the early 90s due to the bull$hit unintended acceleration scandal. If anyone "worked their ass off" it's Audi to get over the undue hardship and put all other manufacturers on their heels in under two decades.
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