PHD US conceptualised an industry first for Audi to introduce their all-new 2019 Audi A8 – they equipped readers with replica Audi key fobs, which used remote control technology to ‘unlock’ the Audi A8 in the ad and turn on an OLED taillight.

Audi’s new car model faced two challenges upon its release to the American market: 1) The target audience was difficult to reach with a wide range of media, and 2) as the challenger in the D-sedan segment, neither PHD nor Audi wanted to opt for conventional luxury canvases.

PHD stewarded the creation of an interactive, remote control-activated, high-impact print ad to capture the attention of the premium A8 target. The idea was to exhibit the sleek design of the Audi A8 and highlight one of the key product features: the OLED lighting technology.

The Audi A8 print ad with key fob. Credit: Departures

The PHD US team worked with Venables Bell & Partners to develop an immersive print ad featuring the A8 model with illuminating taillights, replicating the OLED lighting technology of the vehicle. Furthermore, in an industry first, readers were equipped with a replica A8 key fob that uses remote-control technology to allow re-triggering of the unique taillight animation.

The print publication/partner was crucial to bringing the ad to life and to reach the most qualified A8 target buyer. Departures is an exclusive magazine that is only available to American Express Centurion Platinum card holders. The average Departures audience aligns with the A8 and C-suite A8 target. Published seven times a year for qualifying members, Departures features the latest in travel, style, culture, shopping and dining.

The animated A8 print insertion was featured in Departures’ November/December ‘Holiday Travel and Shopping’ issue and distributed to 25,000 subscriber homes within the top nine designated market areas.

The ad demonstrated the Audi A8’s luxury touches, including the car’s incredible technology, with a breakthrough idea that even the selective target audience couldn’t miss.