I hate it when truth gets in the way of a good story. I recently had a long and interesting chat with the senior marketing person at Audi Canada during the period I wrote about in an Oct 5th post on this blog. Now I need to revise my earlier post.
Though I know the CI guidelines for Porsche intimately and have seen Volkswagen’s, I have never seen Audi’s. I took a convenient shortcut and logically assumed they would be identical to those of the sister brands. It turns out that Audi CI guidelines are much simpler and allow for much more market-by-market interpretation. “Pure and clean” is how they are described internally (as opposed to “the grid”), and Audi Canada actually followed them more closely than many other countries have.
So Lowe Roche wasn’t renegade at all, but their Audi ads are still great. Audi Canada wasn’t breaking the rules for the right reasons either, but they did guide their brand to amazing results. Kudos should really go to Audi AG for creating less rigid rules for global marketing communications. They were the ones thinking outside the grid. Thank goodness someone was.