Fresh off of claiming an Effie at the prestigious Effie Awards Gala in New York, Anna Russell, General Manager of Brand Marketing at Audi of America Inc., sat down with Alan Hart of Keen Strategy to discuss just what it was about Audi’s highly touted, Stay Uncompromised campaign that made it such a huge success.
“The inspiration behind the Stay Uncompromised campaign was really two fold,” says Russell. “Our designers really went overboard in making sure that they brought this completely uncompromised sedan to America. They didn’t compromise on luxury, design, or performance. They had this vision of bringing this breakthrough product to that segment, and we coupled that with an insight about the target audience as well.”
And given the success of Audi in America after Stay Uncompromised, you’d be hard-pressed to find anyone to suggest that the company’s vision didn’t come to fruition. In a January 2015 press release, Audi stated that sales were up 15.2%, while December 2014 marked the 48th consecutive month of record sales for the German car in the U.S.
Russell attributes much of the campaign’s success to teamwork, mentioning that, “marketing is the ultimate team sport.” From the organized dealer launch night, which featured roughly 279 Audi dealers all simultaneously hosting a launch event, to the social media team operating each individual social media platform, Russell insists that each division of Audi’s marketing team played a crucial role.
However, for all the success that Audi has had recently, Russell admits that describing exactly what marketing effectiveness is can be a bit tricky at times.
“Well there’s the measurable stuff and then there’s the more anecdotal stuff,” she says. “We measure marketing effectiveness by looking at overall awareness, opinions and consideration, against sales, and by the type of audiences we’re bringing into the brand. Then there’s the anecdotal stuff such as dealer excitement and industry reactions.”
And if Russell’s attitude toward her work is any indicator as to the future success of Audi marketing, one would be safe to assume that Audi will back at the Effie awards in the near future.
“I just love the breakthrough moment where you see how provocative, progressive, breakthrough work is,” says Russell. “The beauty of marketing is that you work hard, you develop a strategy, and then you see the fruits of your labor. You want your work to create an emotional reaction in customers and get them moving.”
And moving is just what Audi has customers doing these days. After all, the highly regarded Stay Uncompromised campaign helped increase Audi’s market share by a whopping fifty percent, while introducing an entire generation of millennial consumers to an tech-heavy, affordable luxury sedan.