Audi: Shock the Sheep

THE BUSINESS SITUATION

When it comes to selling cars, the real challenge isn't selling new cars; it's selling existing cars on the lot. New cars get talked about in the press; they get featured on the cover of car magazines and mentioned around the water cooler. Existing car models get forgotten; they're yesterday's news. In the first half of 2009, Audi of America had just come off six major new car launches, so it was no surprise that shopping intentions—the percent of luxury shoppers who put the brand at the top of their list—increased for Audi since 2008 (see Figure 1). These new cars were driving Brand Awareness, Brand Opinion and Brand Consideration to all-time highs. But by the second half of 2009, shopping intentions peaked and were even starting to slip. This was worrisome, because shopping intentions are extremely important, as they correlate to future sales.

With the brand growing fast and gaining market share, the last thing Audi wanted was to give back any ground. But the existing car lineup was about to become old news, and with no major launches planned for 2010, we needed a campaign that would reignite momentum in the marketplace and sustain sales growth.