Audi taps ad agency for global technology campaign

Marketing

Audi has tapped ad agency 72andSunny for a global campaign, but is expected to continue working with Venables Bell & Partners in the U.S.

The Volkswagen Group-owned luxury brand on Tuesday announced that 72andSunny would handle a project aimed at redefining Audi’s “Vorsprung durch Technik​” marketing slogan, which  translates to “progress through technology.” The tagline, which was first used by Audi in 1971 according to its website, will “no longer be solely about what is technically possible, but on focusing even more on what customers want,” Audi said in a statement.

The project will be led by 72andSunny’s Amsterdam office, with support from its offices in New York, Los Angeles, Sydney and Singapore. 

A representative for Audi of America confirmed that “Venables Bell & Partners remains the creative agency of record in the U.S. We will continue to work with them on various campaigns and content for the U.S. market.” 

72andSunny’s campaign is slated to roll out in 2020. The Audi of America representative noted that “while global creative will be run out of Amsterdam office, the New York office of 72andSunny will be vital to ensuring U.S. consumer insights are integrated into global content work.”

It is unclear if 72andSunny’s campaign, or portions of it, will run in the U.S. The Audi of America spokesperson stated: “As in the past, Audi of America will continue to make campaign and content decisions based on the needs and demands of our business here in the U.S. We cannot confirm at this time if the global campaign work being executed by 72andSunny will run in the U.S.”

The “Vorsprung durch Technik​” tagline, first used to introduce the Audi 80 in the early 1970s, has not been widely used in the U.S.  BBH brought the German tagline to the U.K. in 1982. The idea sprung form BBH founder John Hegarty, who encountered the line when touring an Audi plant in Germany, according to an account in the Guardian newspaper. 

In the U.S., Audi had for years been associated with the tagline “Truth In Engineering,” which dates back to 2007, the year after it hired San Francisco-based Venables, Bell & Partners to handle its U.S. advertising. But the line drew scrutiny in the wake of VW’s emissions cheating scandal, which began in 2015 when it admitted to installing devices on diesel vehicles to evade testing.

Audi later quietly shed the line. Of late, Audi’s U.S. advertising has not used a tagline. Spots simply end by showing the brand’s four-ring logo against a “thump thump” sound that resembles a beating heart.

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