Sometimes, you just have to take your hat off to excellent examples of promotional campaigns done right.
With many folks saying advertising is dead, it’s nice to see examples like the two below and say, “Uh, really?”. Especially since both show a mix of cool and (where Audi and BMW are concerned) outright cheek.
The Audi and BMW Billboard Chess Match
This is probably one of my favourite examples of corporate fisticuffs I’ve seen. Below on the left is a billboard ad from German auto manufacturer Audi, and the response from fellow German competitor BMW (click to expand):
Audi’s ad shows their new A4 saloon, with the challenge to BMW of, “Your move”. It’s classic advertising at its best, with a gentle poke at a direct competitor. A competitor that was clearly up for the challenge.
Up steps BMW with their response, a picture of their sporty M3 and the words, “Checkmate.” Brilliantly simple, and one that would end any “mine is bigger than yours” game.
Except Audi have their own sports car heritage, as was quickly evident in the response below (click to expand):
In a wonderfully cheeky piece of advertising sass, Audi put up a new billboard with their R8 supercar and the statement, “Your pawn is no match for our king.” Game over, right? not quite.
BMW has a long history in race cars, especially when it comes to Formula 1 racing. And they were more than happy to show this when they brought out a blimp with their F1 race car emblazoned on it along with the words, “Game over.”
Epic. Simply epic.
Note: Audi reached out to advise that the blimp was photoshopped into a screengrab of the billboards. Bugger. Still epic response though.
The Monsters University
Scheduled for release next summer, Monsters University is the sequel to the massive hit, Monsters Inc. A prequel to the original movie, it looks at the two characters from the original movie and how they met at the titular Monsters University.
Now, normally, movies are pretty good at coming out with cool promotional campaigns, with studios trying to outdo each other on the viral effect. But Pixar and Walt Disney have really come up with something pretty cool for this one.
Not only can you explore the School of Scaring, where the Monsters learn their trade, but you can check out the MU sports and athletics teams; get alumni news; check out MU events; and much, much more.
It looks and feels exactly like a University website would, adding to the realism and authenticity of actually spending time with fellow students. Which is exactly what the new movie will be about – result.
The Moral of the Story
As I mentioned at the start, many folks have decreed advertising to be dead, as social media and new media platforms look to share messages differently.
Yet, as these two examples above show, advertising is alive and well, and more creative than many of their social media equivalents.
To the naysayers of advertising and “traditional marketing”, perhaps it’s less the medium that’s dead as much as it’s just crappy advertisers and marketers that are killing creativity.
Then again, that’s true of all mediums, including social media. Here’s to creativity, especially when it’s integrated and not silo’d.