Audi’s Super Bowl ad will be a parody of rivals backed by a Hollywood-size production budget. It will use iconic scene from The Godfather to poke fun, without naming names, at luxury car rivals.
"We don’t look at this as a car ad as much as we look at it as a statement," says Scott Keogh, vice president of marketing at Audi. "The message we want to send is between Old World and New World and say that Audi is the New World. "The spot sets up old luxury as excessive extravagance. Audi is not about excess, it’s about substance."
The ad opens on a silver R8 parked in front of a Beverly Hills mansion (a real home now on the market for $200 million). Inside, a scene from the violent movie unfolds — but it’s motor oil, not blood, that’s spilled. Film buffs will recognize actor Alex Rocco, who played Vegas kingpin Moe Greene in The Godfather. The words "Old luxury has been put on notice" appear before the R8 speeds out of the driveway.
Audi paid Paramount Pictures, which released the 1972 Oscar-winner, a licensing fee that it would describe only as ranging from $500,000 to $1.5 million.
Audi.com’s about 35,000 registered users will get to see the ad first: It will be e-mailed to them on Super Bowl morning.
Audi will be competing with several car rivals for attention in the game. General Motors (GM), Toyota (TM) and Hyundai are in the game, Nissan (NSANY) and others are buying "spot" ads in individual markets. It also will be up against the fact that car ads in general, in any venue, tend not to be viewer favorites.