Audi tries to think different about advertising


I’m surprised that nobody has tried it before. When I heard Audi’s 60-second spot ‘Join the League of Performance’ there was no mistaking exactly what the company had tried to do.

Apple’s famous ‘think different’ commercial is legendary. The company celebrated people who by, the company suggested, thinking differently to the majority had changed the world for the better.

The themes in Audi’s ‘Join the League of Performance’ spot are so close to those in Apple’s original it’s uncanny. The flow; the cadence; the use of one phrase – status quo all leave you in no doubt where they drew their inspiration from.

Audi’s advert uses vision as the primary theme. It’s customers (I suspect) see themselves as visionaries, as pioneers and as people that are never (or not easily) satisfied. The team behind its WEC racers definitely are. They’re the automotive equivalent of Apple’s ‘crazy ones’.

It also picks up on one of the unspoken themes in Apple’s think different TV spot – the company’s employees – and gives them a subtle shout out. It’s well known that Apple’s original spot was less about attracting customers and more about retaining the top talent. By setting out a vision of thinking differently Steve Jobs believed he could persuade key staff to stay at the Cupertino company. Something he thought would be critical to turning the ailing company around.

Audi’s spot is, as Apple’s original was, an exercise in public relations (building and maintaining relationships) rather than a marketing or publicity campaign.

Watch Audi’s spot, and compare the scripts of it’s League of Performance advert with the original from Apple [below]

“Join The League of Performance

Join the never satisfied
the hard workers; the early risers; the overnighters
join the pioneers
the passionates
join those that fight the impossible
those who fight the status quo
those who imagine the future –  then make it happen
the designers
the clay modellers
the engineers
the test makers; the test makers; the test makers
join the pilots; the pit-stoppers

Do you want to go faster?

Join a race that is so much more than just finishing in first place
Join the eternal challenges, the people that think that even after becoming #1 you can still become a better #1

Join a vision, the vision of the people who see power where others don’t
Join the story. Join History.
A history of constantly rewriting history.

Join the league of performance.”

They might as well have shown images of drivers like Rosemeyer, Hasse, Kristensen and McNish.  The similarities in cadence, intonation and flow are not a coincidence.

think different

“Here’s to the crazy ones.
The misfits.
The rebels.
The troublemakers.
The round pegs in the square holes.
The ones who see things differently.
They’re not fond of rules.
And they have no respect for the status quo.
You can quote them, disagree with them,
glorify or vilify them.
About the only thing you can’t do is ignore them.
Because they change things.
They push the human race forward.
While some may see them as the crazy ones, we see genius.
Because the people who are crazy enough to think
they can change the world, are the ones who do.”

Does the spot work?  I’m not sure.  I see what they’re trying to do – and admire their bravery in trying.  It’s hard to successfully emulate one of the best know and most successful 60 second spots.

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