Why that Zachary Quinto/Leonard Nimoy Audi Commercial is Important

In short, because it’s so well done I wouldn’t want to skip it if it was on TV.

If you have not seen it, watch it now (weirdly embed is broken for me, so you will have to see it at the Youtube link)

I’ve been thinking about this topic for a while and needed a good ad to showcase. Ad agencies and Marketing people pay close attention: I won’t skip an ad if you intrigue and entertain me while showcasing your brand or product. I will skip it in a heartbeat if you don’t, because technology has now made it easy for me to do so. The Audi ad hits and hits big.

Here’s why this ad hits on all levels:

1. It’s entertaining.

It takes two paragons of geek culture and puts them in an intriguing rivalry. Shatner/Pine might have worked, but the Spock on Spock action is far funnier because their characters are unemotional. Add to it Nimoy’s Ballad of Bilbo reference and Star Trek 2 nod, and the fact he wins in the end and you have a narrative I didn’t want to end even though I knew full well it was a commercial. This ad was a million times better than the faux Ferris Bueller ad.

2. It’s effective.

In between the dialogue the ad effectively shows compare/contrast between two major brands and models of car. And it doesn’t take a cheap shot either, in the scene where Quinto calls Nimoy I fully expected Nimoy to pick up a cell phone, something as a Mercedes man I know he would not have to do. But the ad doesn’t take a cheap shot and shows the Mercedes has wireless voice activated call answer. It lends a lot of weight to the other scenes comparing the two cars.

3. It’s clever.

While all the shots of the Audi are stylized to make it look more futuristic, the ad carefully and shrewdly evokes JJ Abrams’ Star Trek and Star Trek Into Darkness. Did you notice almost every shot with the Audi has a lens flare in it? Clever stuff.

I abhor ads, unless they are clever. I want this type of advertising. In a world of DVR’s and ad skipping, you have to get good, or go home. Now Audi has me intrigued. That’s effective.

One comment

  1. Arminator says:

    > “Ad agencies and Marketing people pay close attention: I won’t skip an ad
    if you intrigue and entertain me while showcasing your brand or
    product.”

    I agree completely with you. But it’s not always the fault of the ad agency. I had the luck to talk with someone whose wife worked with a German advertising company (and German ads are often even more cringe inducing).

    He said, that ad agencies often have brilliant and creative ideas, but the company for whom the ad is made, is often limiting the creativity.

    For example, I can’t stand ads about detergents. Nothing is more boring than to see a woman doing laundry.

    But the detergent company INSISTED that the ad had to show a woman that is happy to do the laundry, and it HAD TO have a comparison shot, where two pieces of stained fabric had to be shown, with a before and after shot, where the “other” detergent had the stain still visible, and the advertised product didn’t show the stain.

    So, in most cases, advertising agencies and marketing people do have great ad ideas, that are ruined by the conservative decision makers in the company booking the ad agency.

    Thankfully, Audi is a company that does advertising definitely right in most cases.

    I mean, I still remember the first Audi ad I saw as a kid, when an Audi 100 Quattro drove up a ski jump ramp (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9JadX4Sn7_I). It’s every marketers wet dream if their ad is remembered almost 30 years later still. Or when Audi heavily sponsored the “Transporter” movies, and Statham drove through the ages in this ad: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lYEE_uainZ0

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