Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Audi / BMW Ad War Continues in the U.S. - Is that the best BMW can do?

As you all might well know, Audi and BMW have been at war with each other in the states, coming up with innovative ads to bash each others' cars.

It started with advertisement ads :

The conflict first began when BMW released an ad for its new 3-series and congratulated Audi for winning the South African car of the Year award, signing off with "From the winner of the world car of the year award 2006". Audi replied with an ad of their own proclaiming that the "world car of the year award" was great and all, but they've won at LeMans for six consecutive years. Subaru made it a three-way fight and jumped in with an ad proclaiming, "Well done to Audi and BMW for winning the beauty contest. From the winner of the 2006 International Engine of the Year". [Source - Curious Read?)

Followed by billboards
in Los Angeles, California:

Source - Autoblog

Things came to a head recently with Audi escalating tensions by releasing video commercials in conjunction with the 2010 Winter Olympics. In the first commercial, Audi targets the Ferrari California, Lexus RX, Mercedes-Benz C-class and BMW 3-series. Their answer: the S4, Q5, A5 and the R8 V10. Additionally, the advertisement goes on to say that Audi is growing at a faster rate than BMW, Lexus and Mercedes-Benz. The next commercial's theme is that "There Is No Room For Second Place." The brand cites three recent Car And Driver comparisons where the S4, A6 and Q5 dominated competition from BMW [Source - Autospies]

So how did BMW reply?

Arriving in U.S. mailboxes was a deal from BMW aimed directly at Audi owners. It is a $1,500 USD credit that can be combined with any BMW promotion that is currently on offer. Potential customers will also get free servicing - "Leave those Audi maintenance bills behind," and "Try on a new 3-Series, recently named to Car and Driver's 10 Best list for an unmatched 19th year in a row." [Sources - Autospies and Ausmotive]

Pretty weak I reckon - something you'd expect GM to do (capitalizing on Toyota's recall woes) but not a prestige marque! And whats a $1500 credit to Americans who own luxury cars?

Not being biased here (owning an Audi and all) but BMW's marketing gurus need to go back to the drawing board.

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