GO
Loading...

This Super Bowl: Audi Is Everywhere but Kenny G Keeps Things Calm

I hope the Super Bowl will be as exciting as expected.

The commercials, that is.

USA Today reports that six automakers will create a traffic jam during commercial breaks on Sunday, promoting nine different brands.

Audi
Source: Owenthatsmyname
Audi

This being 2011, companies can't just create a bazillion dollar ad and spend up to $3 million to buy 30 seconds of airtime. They have to start a "teaser" campaign on YouTube, set up a special promotional page on Facebook, and purchase a hashtag on Twitter.

The marketing people at Audi, like all good German engineers, have been the most efficient in coordinating these efforts. The result? A lot of laughs and a lot of hype, and we are still days away from kickoff.

Bravo.

This year's Audi ad theme is "Luxury has Progressed", promoting the A8 sedan. The commercial will center around a luxury prison (think Bernie Madoff). In a teaser video which runs nearly three minutes, legendary musician Kenny G plays a successful "Riot Suppressor" at the prison, making sure that when former titans of industry start rioting over handmade cigars, he keeps things calm by playing a sax. Just don't call him Kenny Z.

Mashable reports that Audi's ad during the game on Sunday will also include a Twitter hashtag it's paid for, #Progressls. The hashtag will flash on screen at the end of the commercial, and Audi claims this is the first use of a hashtag in a TV ad.

Business of the Super Bowl - See Complete Coverage
Business of the Super Bowl - See Complete Coverage

Yes, there is also the now-obligatory Facebook tie-in, called "The Estate Sale."

The only thing missing are Groupon half off Audi coupons, a Foursquare "Mayor of Audi" contest, and a mobile app for the A8. Oh wait, they have one.

The company isn't releasing the actual 60-second commercial set to air Sunday ahead of time, so we don't know if the punchline will be worthy of all this set up. I can only say that it will be very difficult to top last year's ad from Audi, which mocked (while still promoting) the environmental movement. It still makes me laugh a year later.

Questions? Comments? Funny Stories? Email funnybusiness@cnbc.com

  • Based in Los Angeles, Jane Wells is a CNBC business news reporter and also writes the Funny Business blog for CNBC.com.

Humor