Photo by Garytnt

One of the best ways to understand branding is by watching the Superbowl.  The Superbowl reaches over 90 million viewers. In this venue, the advertisers’ intent is to generate “buzz”, and to firmly establish the brand position of their product or service in the mind of their target market.  As luxury real estate marketing consultants and brand strategists, we pay close attention to how luxury purveyors are differentiating themselves from their competitors.

Luxury car makers such as BMW, Mercedes-Benz, Lexus, and now Audi are competing for the eyeballs of high net worth consumers during the time-outs of the most watched football events of the year.  In 2011, Audi clearly wanted to continue establishing itself as the “new” luxury car.  Its message was, “escape the confines of luxury.”  It showed wealthy people imprisoned (prison with gold bars) by their old standards of a chauffeur driven Mercedes and listening to Kenny G.  This commercial translated into measurable post game sales.

This year Audi has turned to vampires. In its new commercial, a vampire driving his Audi S7 on his way to join his vampire friends drinking blood cocktails in the woods around a bonfire. As he approaches the grounds, he eliminates all his buddies because of the powerful LED headlights.  These lights are, according to Audi, the closest to daylight.

Here is what Andrew Lipman, communications manager of Audi had to say about this commercial, “Audi’s upcoming spot puts Audi signature LEDs up against the focal point of today’s most ubiquitous pop culture craze: vampires. As the most-viewed television program of the year, the Super Bowl is one of the best platforms to showcase a brand’s creativity and voice. The S7 is the epitome of luxury.”

As viewed by Ron Schott, senior strategist at Spring Creek Group, Seattle. “I think this latest campaign is definitely a way for Audi to actually get a little closer with the average consumer during Super Bowl time, I really don’t think it portrays Audi as luxurious .”

This commercial is humorous and entertaining.  However, it does not communicate with the luxury consumer, whose interest in vampires is minimal and who is definitely not the average consumer.  Will the luxury buyer buy the epitome of luxury to kill vampires? 

This is a clear case of competing on features rather than differentiating from the competition.  Mercedes already has LED lights around its headlights.  LED lights are not a unique feature, and installing enough of them to mimic daylight is not a differentiator.

As luxury real estate marketing professionals it is important not to lose focus.  Stay the course of your brand position by keeping within your niche and by competing on your fundamental difference (not features) in the marketplace.


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