Autobahn race car visuals are so humdrum to consumers now that they (unwisely) pose for selfies on the German freeway. So Audi had to do something creative to display its all-new R8 — something not so legacy that the German luxury car seemed stodgy, but something with class.
Still, it had to show the car was fast. Any creative would have to show that the 2017 Audi R8 V10 plus could kick the dust up.
Challenge: Brand awareness
Solution: Online video promoting co-branded experience with Airbnb
- Audi R8 searches up 500% YOY
- 18 million video views
- 186 million impressions
- 1.8 million likes/shares/reactions on social
- Airbnb sold out in 7 seconds
That’s why Audi explored avenues it hadn’t before, venturing into Utah’s salt flats with Airbnb for the campaign #LiveToDrive. Not only were the salt flats go-fast venues, but partnering with Airbnb in the sharing economy showed Audi, founded in 1899, was a relevant brand that could stay authentic, said Kenneth Bracht, director of brand marketing, Audi of America.
He explained the partnership that created the September 2016 video “Desolation,” set at an Airbnb accommodation in Death Valley where guests could stay at “The home of the Audi R8” and drive the car (as long as anyone with a heart condition had consulted a physician). Bracht’s case study presentation on April 12 at MediaPost’s Marketing Automotive conference, held during the press preview of the New York International Auto Show, included the 90-second video that had gone viral, attracting more than 18 million views and saying: “For those who live to drive. Welcome home. Book this house. Drive the 205 mph Audi R8. Learn more on Airbnb.”
Within seven seconds of the video’s release, the first available night at “The home of the Audi R8” sold out, Bracht said. When Target Marketing looked at the Airbnb reservation site for the home on May 10, it read, “This experience is now fully booked!”
Among the comments from the home’s guests were several saying it was the best experience of their lives.
“We’re still selling dreams,” Bracht says of Audi’s luxury auto experience.