Audi premieres a major technology campaign that enlists the stars of the circus but to convey a serious message. Created by BBH, the multi-million pound campaign illustrates the benefits of Audi intelligent technologies.
Clowns, shot by award-winning director Ringan Ledwidge, features a troupe of the comic characters taking to their collapsing cars and causing havoc on the roads with their antics. A range of Audi models calmly saves the day with their hi-tech safety capabilities. The technologies include Audi pre sense city, cross traffic rear assist, quattro all-wheel-drive, Matrix LED highlights, adaptive cruise control and Audi side assist.
Eventually, the new Audi A8 luxury saloon parks up, showcasing its park assist feature, between two circus jalopies, before the tagline ‘Audi Technology. Clown Proof’.
The film is soundtracked by a reinterpretation of the classic Stephen Sondheim showtune Send in the Clowns, arranged by record producer David Kosten (aka Faultline), and featuring the singersongwriter Lisa Hannigan. A logo will encourage viewers to Shazam the song, which continues the theme of Audi re-purposing re-recording iconic songs with up and coming artists for its campaigns.
For every Shazam, Audi will donate to the charity Brake, in support of Road Safety Week beginning 20 November. The money raised from this partnership will help community groups across the UK to raise awareness of road safety.
Benjamin Braun, Marketing Director of Audi UK, says: "Everyone knows that Audi produces beautiful cars. But, not everyone knows they have amazing brains. Our film makes that point with great charm and wit as Audi cars negotiate the crazy world of the clowns with exquisite comic timing!"
Ian Heartfield, Executive Creative Director at BBH, adds: “We like to keep things simple with Audi - there are a lot of clowns on the road, and our cars have the technology needed to stay safe amongst them. Add Ringan, and fingers crossed we have a great, memorable, disruptive film on our hands."
The campaign will kick-off with Clowns during Victoria on ITV on Sunday 1 October. Audi will be one of the first brands to ever feature on ITV Plus, dramatically increasing the brand’s chances of maximising reach across a single spot. All viewers, who watch that single episode, will see the ad regardless of whether it is via linear TV or catching up online.
It will also be the first ad ever to be shown at the British Film Institute (BFI) on London’s Southbank – just before the screening of the main feature film – in a special collaboration between the brand with the four rings and the BFI.
Additionally, the campaign will be the first ever Audi datadriven outdoor activity, spanning premium digital roadside formats across the nation. The intelligent campaign will bring the Audi technologies to life. It will be managed and distributed through digital outdoor ad tech platform, OpenLoop, which analyses Transport API, time and weather data to trigger the relevant creative for each roadside location.
In a world where video consumption habits have changed and for Audi UK, 50% of its YouTube videos are now watched on a mobile, the brand is collaborating with Google and its advanced video program, Unskippable Labs, on Clowns to investigate what is the perfect balance of efficiency and storytelling. In a first, the video experiment, powered by Google’s programmatic platform, Doubleclick, the collaboration will look to decipher the role of established long form brand storytelling alongside the innovative 6 second short form bumpers in driving desire and consideration around ‘Beautiful Cars with Amazing Brains’