Christian, Oh, Christian: Did "50 Shades of Grey" drive up Audi’s US sales?
If you’ve ever leafed through the pages of the 50 Shades of Grey trilogy, you’ll notice that there’s a lot of erotica involved between the two stars of the book, Anastasia Steele and Christian Grey. We’re not going to dive into that; instead, we’re focusing on another part of the book that bears more relevance to the auto industry.
It seems that for all of his quirks, Christian Grey also has a fascination for cars, in particular, Audis. A number of Audi models were mentioned prominently in the trilogy, particularly the A3, which Christian gave to Anastasia for her birthday.
On top of the A3, the R8 was also mentioned, as well as an unnamed Audi SUV, and a host of other vehicles from the German automaker. The multiple references of Audi on one of the fastest-selling book trilogies of all time seems to have reflected on Audi’s US sales.
In a quote from AutoNews, Loren Angelo, general manager of Audi brand communications, said that while Audi had no involvement or knowledge that their cars would be prominently mentioned in the books, the company may have benefited from the unexpected exposure.
"As Audi continues to generate momentum in the U.S. market, we’re seeing our products utilized more and more within popular culture," Angelo said.
"Those organic results are always a sign that a brand is generating real cultural relevance. Obviously, the runaway success of this series has introduced Audi to consumers who might not have previously been thinking of the brand and that certainly has a positive impact for us."
For the month of July, Audi reported an all-time sales record, earning a 28% sales increase from the same time last year. The company did clarify that they don’t have any data to prove that the 50 Shades of Grey trilogy had a direct effect on the increased sales.
Then again, when something like this happens, you only need to trace it back to the source to find out that there just might be an explanation to all of this.