Audi’s “Friendly Competition” video takes another stab at BMW

Featured Posts, Videos | February 18th, 2010 by 79
bmw vs audi 750x500

You guys remember the Billboards War, right? (Btw, the name was invented by us last year and continued to carry the branding in most of …

You guys remember the Billboards War, right? (Btw, the name was invented by us last year and continued to carry the branding in most of the articles we’ve seen).

Well, that was fun and all, but what some people might have missed is that the billboard was actually paid for by a local BMW dealership rather than BMW North America.

But that was just the beginning. Ever since then, several other videos and marketing campaigns, sanctioned by BMW and Audi, continue this legacy by dueling each other through a series of videos. Both are equally “guilty”, don’t get us wrong, but while BMW seems to be slightly subtle, Audi takes a bold approach and releases new videos aimed at BMW.

bmw vs audi 655x390A direct stab at BMW and at the same time, more free marketing for Car and Driver.

The second video continues the stereotyping we have seen before in the “Meet the Beckers” series. This time, the “techno head”, Bluetooth borg BMW driver is being replaced by a shorter gentlemen driving a red flashy 3 Series Cabrio and… a good looking woman. Oh …and she’s taller than him.

Not sure where Audi was going with this, but hey, we really wouldn’t mind being “that guy”….


Now, we’re not graduates of any marketing school, rather geeks at heart, but we do wonder if this is usually the best way to spend your money on.

Wouldn’t it make more sense to focus on the strengths of your brand and continue to build your reputation or image, rather than constantly bringing your competitor in focus, regardless if it’s positive or negative?

Thanks for the tip Saleem!

79 responses to “Audi’s “Friendly Competition” video takes another stab at BMW”

  1. Marc says:

    Ok the second video IS pretty good….and the Icing on the cake or coup d’etat as it were is the Audi R8…..BMW has NO answer for it right now…..

    • Habs says:

      Err… BMW doesn’t NEED an answer for the R8. That’s not what they’re in the business of doing. BMW is about delivering the best driving experience in every car they make. This is the fundamental difference that separates BMW from the rest. They’re not trying to be fastest around the track. They’re trying to be most fun around the track no matter what you’re driving.

      A car enthusiast looks at an R8 and smiles.
      A BMW enthusiast looks at an R8 and wishes he was looking at an E30 M3 or a 2002 turbo.

      You can’t compete with The Ultimate Driving Experience unless you create a better one. And winning some magazine comparisons (there are dozens put out each year) won’t make a lick of a difference.

      From a marketing standpoint: why are they proud of having won 3 comparisons with cars that aren’t their top sellers? And who wants to own a car that EVERYONE is buying (“we’re growing faster…”)? What is the core message here? Buy an Audi because it’s better than a BMW? Or a Lexus? What makes it so great? They haven’t communicated any real benefits in the ads. And that’s the real problem.

      At the end of the day, buying a car is a complex process. You’re not going to get people to run out and buy an Audi because you say it’s better. You’re telling people “compare us to BMW, Lexus, Mercedes,” but you can’t always win those battles. You give consumers a choice and they’re going to make it for themselves. First rule of marketing: don’t ask what they want; tell them what they want.

    • I believe u dont need to look for an answer for the R8 Compilation,…u got the M3 for much much lesss!!!!!!!!!!!!!! and the performance wise the R8 is slower than the M3 coupe!!!!!!!!!

      no dought the R8 looks better but engineering wise they suck!!!!!!!!!!!! bmw is the Master of engineering!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! n with the new 5 seres I’m falling in love with it!!!

      the 4.2L R8 is slower than a M3 coupe 4.0l
      5.2l RS6 is slower then the M5,…

      I cant Denny the fact that Audi interiors look awesome but BMW is catching up!!! n mercedes is making mockery about there interior design the seats, looks skinny!!!!!!!!!!!!!!lol

    • XC says:

      “Coup de grace” I believe is the right expression. (‘Coup d’état’ is the sudden overthrow of a government, often through illegal means by a part of the state establishment. From my friend Wiki)

  2. p.wong says:

    audi is trying so hard at least the ads are funny lol

  3. badger says:

    haha both are okay
    The S4 is slighty better than the 335i,
    and the only reason why the Q5 beat the X3 is because
    the X3 is old and is currently in testing.

  4. XC says:

    We are being told that Audi is growing faster that other luxury car companies… lol
    But the facts tell another reality:

    So basically these are funny ads but in them Audi is just bluffing.

  5. XC says:

    Maybe we were told right. My BMW not only captures my essence, but my neighbors are truly jealous!

    • XC says:

      Besides, thar red convertible truly looks gorgeous. You wonder if the ad plot’s is actually the other way around, the lady leaving the Audi guy for a shinny red beauty.

  6. GG says:

    I think they’re cute. Nothing wrong with a bit of teasing. It’s not like BMW or Mercedes are struggling for sales are they?

  7. plax says:

    that 2 video puts bmw right in his place

    • Saleem says:

      The only thing that puts BMW right in its place Sir is the steering wheel. With superior handling.

      I have a 3 and I am surgical with that B****

      • XC says:

        dont brag with that 3you own …..BS car

        • XC says:

          Lol! Now I enter the circle of supplanted identities! (How come Horatiu…) But on a second thought, I would never write anything that vulgar. Besides, I ABSOLUTELY LOVE M3s. For me it is the best car in the WORLD (As Mr. Clarkson once put it, “What a car. What a masterpiece”. Kudos for your 3, Saleem.

  8. BOGDAN says:

    HEY! S4 vs regular 3 series, new audi Q5 vs older X3 and new audi A6 vs older 5 series. BUT AUDI IS BETTER. nice try audi. what about the other test where audi was second and third best? like z4 s drive35i vs audi TTS or bmw 328i vs a4 or m3 vs rs4 and so on(car and driver comparisons)?

  9. Lucian9000 says:

    Audi is like the poor kid in the neighborhood with the new second hand bike trying to convince everyone his bike is better!lol

  10. Jag says:

    as long as Audi bash other brands in their ads, they are still minor

  11. wazon8 says:

    Hahahahaah, “…and the neighbours will be jealous”, bacause of VW in disguise. That’s the joke!

  12. viper says:

    excellent commercials no doubt…the last one is a real stabber , R8 vs what bmw?.. no competition there…and please all of you loyal bimmer ass kissers spare me the idiotic nonsense like bmw doesnt need a competitor for r8 or such crap , that it is the ultimate driving machine and the best there is…eat your heart out bmw fans

    • Habs says:

      That’s exactly the point. BMW doesn’t need or want to build a supercar to compete with the R8. Audi needed to build an R8 so that they could say “look, we have the R8.” But who’s going to buy it? How many people will actually have access to that kind of driving experience? It’s a luxury product limited to a select few.

      Just about anyone can enjoy a the driving experience in a BMW, because every car they produce is done so with the intention of making it the ultimate driving machine. There’s driving, and then there’s driving. On EVERY level, not just with the high end models.

      • XC says:

        I totally agree. The M3 is such an understated car, and it can compete against anything you throw at it. It’s like a classy, beautiful, well educated girl who doesn´t need to show any skin to be drop dead gorgeous. Esse Quam Videri…

        • Habs says:

          Well, to be honest, the R8 would PROBABLY smoke the M3 on the track or the drag strip. But there’s ALWAYS going to be a faster, more expensive car out there. The best automaker isn’t determined by who one-ups the next guy, it’s determined by who does the most across the board (at least to me it is). I know that I could buy any BMW without test driving it and I’m going to have the same BMW experience as any other.

          Side note: some call the interior layout dull… I call it smart. I LIKE being able to find and use features in one or two clicks, and not having to look for a certain button or switch. Function should always win over form when it comes to the driver, and BMW has always exemplified that in their driver-centric designs (though they have become more passenger-focused in recent years, which I’m neither for or against).

  13. Dan Wagener says:

    Poor Audi, they try so hard…

  14. Saleem says:

    LOL ahhh that Audi. I love both car companies and its interesting to watch this competition. BMW had always outclassed Audi because they were using VW platforms. Now that Audi is trying to seperate the brand from VW and use all origional platforms we shall see how this plays out.

    The New 7 in my opinion has nothing to worry about.

  15. Saleem says:

    Well done H.B.

  16. I.HATE.HER.ALOT says:

    LOL @ the Lexus being For Old Folks. They just can’t seem to shake that image. And you can’t knock Audi, all they’re saying is we make better vehicles than the rest, and they’re saying it loudly. Confidence goes a long way. I hope BMW gets in the fight.

  17. kcsnayud says:

    i think the s4 is biting dust again. Why? The new 335is. Have you guys forgotten that car? It was supposed to be the answer to the s4, which the 335i is bad at.
    335is wins for sure…

    • Saleem says:

      Yeah but the 335is is unecessary and ooogly. I dont like the front lights the previous 3 coupe is perfection allthey had to do was beef up the engine and suspension and leave the asthetics alone.

  18. Check YouTube, Audi was running those kind of ads 18 years ago. And I last time I checked, BMW was the bestselling luxury brand in the US, while Audi was sixth. I mean, who wouldn’t want to poke them?
    About the C/D tests – well, the S4 has won only one comparison test while the 3 Series has won all the rest so far. Did they forgot about that? And both X3 and the 5 Series were outgoing models.

  19. Audi is growing faster cos it just started growing -_-”
    As for cars, I currently regard BMW and Mercedes-Benz to be above Audi…but who knows? perhaps Audi will grow much bigger!

    • Habs says:

      “Fastest growing” reminds me of when I was younger, playing competitive sports. You never wanted to get the “Most Improved Player” award, because it meant you were probably pretty bad and improved a lot, but were still pretty bad. Haha.

      • wazon8 says:

        Once again, not my comment. What a pathetic way of posting here.

        • Horatiu B. says:

          Just disregard, things will be fixed soon. Truth is that on any site you can create multiple accounts and use a variation of your nickname. Mr. Plaxico will be banned. In the mean time, we’ll keep deleting comments.

          • XC says:

            What a wailful cry for attention… just plain sad.

          • wazon8 says:

            Hey, I referred to person’s behaviour (who uses my nick) than the system. I can recognize merits of present system, since I suspect that if there was registeration process, perhaps less people would comment here. So, I would like to appeal once again to people who use others nicks: “Please, be mature and post your remarks under your own name”.

        • XC says:

          Agree. But again, we regulars @ BMW Blog know who is childish enough to pull this pathetic “assault”. Pitiful little people.

  20. Babken says:

    How can I put a brand cars of which are made based on VW platform on the same level as BMW or Mercedes-Benz. Likewise how can I put a brand on the same level as BMW and Mercedes-Benz when it (Audi) states that it’s selling luxury cars while USD30000 cars constitute the vast majority of their sales. Sorry, I’m not stupid like Audi employees. Personally, I don’t consider Audi as a luxury car maker. Audi is a premium car maker.

  21. Dede says:

    The S4 couldn’t compete any more with the M3 – so it moves down to compete with the 335i and calls it a win. Hilarious. I would always beat my competition if I were to chose it so I could win. As for the Q5 beating the ancient X3 – that’s fair. But the A6 against the newly released 5 series? Don’t think so.

  22. Kodey says:

    That 1st video really pisses me off….. The second one eh who cares, its a silly doped down super car. Don’t get me wrong i love the car i think its a beautiful car, But like someone else already said there is only a select few of them and really? who would buy that when you could get a 760Li? just my point of view…

  23. XC says:

    Supplanted Identity. (How come Horatiu…. again)

  24. Edward says:

    I can see why the Audi ads appeal. They appeal to me, because in some sense I agree. Remember, the folks on this site are only a small sub-segment of the BMW-owning population. The guys and gals here are BMW enthusiasts, who see the value of the great performance the cars offer. I spent significant time in Germany, and it is the same there – the Germans appreciate well-made cars that are fun to drive, and really enjoy their cars.

    But, particularly in the U.S., there is a substantial portion of BMW owners who know nothing of the BMW heritage, who know nothing of the art of cars, nor the reasons to get one, nor how to drive one – they simply get the car for the image and the badge. To say that they own a BMW. I have friends that do that. I know co-workers who do that. And to a segment of the car-buying population, that puts people off. People definitely judge books by their cover and marketers have figured out that people identify themselves by the brands that they sport. So the BMW image, at least in the pompous, egotistical sense – not the enthusiast sense – you might not want to be associated with that.

    And this ad is appealing to those with that sentiment.

    • Horatiu B. says:

      Thank you for the great comment

    • wazon8 says:

      That’s said thing to say, but you’re right. Many of BMW’s owners know nothing about their car and could be catched up by such ads. Fortunately, there is good advertisement committee working in BMW eighter.

    • XC says:

      Well put, I agree at most parts. But then I reckon this sort of ‘downer’ is a weakness of an otherwise superbrand that competitor companies are compelled to exploit. Anyways numbers are very revealing and 119,219 cars sold by BMW in 2009 (over $45,000) compared to Audi’s 35,550 cars sold in 2009 pretty much shows that the brand itself is very very strong, whether you buy it because you are a true enthusiast or you just want the image and the badge. My point is that BMW’s lineup is one that appeals to a broad audience and truly delivers what it promises. Other consideration is that being a global brand – even if North America is its most important market – it necessarily ‘means’ something different at the various markets around the world. At the end you have to decide what do you really want regardless what neighbors et al have to say about your very own personal choice.

  25. Daniel H ( aka :p ) says:

    Audi is growing faster because of Finacial Aid frm its parent company, Vw. BMW and Benz however is the parent company. It doesnt have a large branch of cheap cars so there are slower growth than Audi’s Volkswagan.

  26. Robert says:

    Yeah – the new Audi’s are nice and all… but I just can’t get past those frackin’ christmas light led’s…
    Oh well, no worry to me really – ’cause I’ll stick with BMW :)

  27. IAn says:

    While I am a very happy BMW owner (for 12 years and 4 cars now) I will be the first one to admit that Audi do a excellent job with advertising. This ad was hilarious – a rather lot of BMW drivers are real douche bags especially in the financial services industry of which I am a part. I am not saying that is not true for Audi and Mercedes but BMW has been the top target for 20 odd years now. I also agree with the other posters that BMW BADLY needs a pinup car that people can aspire to owning. If I were in the market for a $100,000 car BMW makes nothing in that price range that I would buy. I’m not really a sedan fan, any SUV (even a BMW) makes me sick, the 6 series is just too big and the M3 is a bit too unaspirational (especially now you can lease one). It would likely come down to a Carerra S and a R8 4.2 between which I keep swinging. I really hope I have a BMW to choose when that time comes.

    • Saleem says:

      The white M1 (homage) concept needs to be done right.T

    • Habs says:

      I’ve always wondered if BMW would make a supercar up in the 100-150k range, just to shut everyone else up. I wish they would, but they don’t NEED to. They’re so focused, it’s all just smoke and mirrors. At the end of the day, they understand what business they’re in.

      As for the ad, the punching one was kind of clever. But it was clever like a VW ad. Not like an Audi ad. Nobody compares luxury brands! You don’t go to the store and buy a D&G suit over an Armani suit because D&G says they’re better than Armani. You buy the brand you feel most connected to, that represents you, your personality, your style, and meets your perceived needs.

      This isn’t retail shelf space they’re fighting for. It’s hearts and minds. VW’s advertising is great, it just doesn’t belong next to a premium product.

    • XC says:

      Agree, but anyways you always have the Rolls-Royce… lol
      But seriously, what BMW fan doesn’t desire that elusive BMW supercar? Specially this guy:

      A serious case of brand low self steem. LOL

  28. Artmic says:

    I drove the M3 2 days ago, and i can honestly say nothing in Audi’s lineup is even close, their R8 is exotic looking, and fast etc…but why pay double for a 10% to 15% faster car than the M3….

  29. efoza says:

    There is one BIG warning in the game of advertising and that is that you should NEVER refer to your competition by name in your own advert. This is regarded as huge sign of weakness as if you are trying very hard to say to the audiance- hey look at me I am also great or that I am also part of the same class or group of products.

    It seems to me that this is exactly what Audi is trying to do. Almost as if it has to mention BMW to be noticed.

    We all know that Audi makes good cars which are essentially premimum version of VWs. They are also good looking- well some of them are! However, they DO NOT make GREAT cars and thus their attempt to rub shoulders with the GREAT car makers like BMW is simply foolish fantasy.

  30. SABN says:

    I am audi fan and I like your blog and bmw cars. I agree with efoza, referring to competttion by name or a product(s) in particular is not ethical in advertising. War of words can and should be at corporate communication level if it has to be directed at competition.

    Nevertheless there are two issues- one is product and the other is brand related. I do not think it is foolish fantasy to say Audi makes great cars. BMW certainly does but does not mean audi doesnt. There are certain areas where audi sets industry benchmark- manufacturing precision, interior design etc and so does bmw and in more areas perhaps than audi.

    Overall BMW is more popular and this is reflected in gobal sales. Money permitting I will own both cars ( i currently own an audi s4 which I belive is better than 335i Come 2011 I will switch to a new 3 series and likewise back to audi in the future with their 2015 s4). My dad owned a a8l w12 which i belived was better than bmw 760li . But now I am persuading him to move to a fseries BMW 760 v12

    Audis are definitely suffering from branding issues. VW acquired Audi and audi is not a upmarket brand ala lexus of toyota. It is tyring everything it can to change the perception of buying public. I should try but I am sure the way it does by way of naming and showing competition in ads is not right

    I find bmw fans in this blog too biased in favour of bmw. bmw sure make great cars but it is sheer naiveity to think that no other car manufacture should attempt to beat bmw and suceed in some of its products once in a while

    • XC says:

      The other problem I find in the ad is that they put the very same people they want to appeal as programmed idiots, just repeating what they are told to… and I’m not sure if that is exactly funny.

      Besides, if something TELLS me that it reflects my essence, firstable of what essence are we talking about? Well, I think that that is Audi’s perception of BMW, not owner’s perception. And they also put BMW owner character as a cheap dressed, seemingly rich guy with bad taste and a parvenu wife (who leaves him for an Audi owner?) Give me a break! I think that’s almost insulting.

  31. Saleem says:

    I like this post I too am an Audi fan as well as a BMW fan. You can not put down either car in front of me with out a heated debate ensuing. The only time I hesitate to jump to Audi’s defense is when comparing to BMW.

    With that said. It is certainly not fantasy to think of Audi as a great car the problem is they are unable to shake the stigma of VW. They have moved on to using their own parts space frame technology and drive train but still cant shake it, because at the end of the day Who’s your daddy ?

    Now mentioning King BMW in your ad is reaching but that’s what happens in any industry when you want to make a name for your self you take shots at the throne.

    They did how ever belittle themselves by even mentioning Daimler and Toyota in their ads. I currently own a 335I and I love her I will wait to see how the new 3 looks before I make a change.

    A car is not something you change like shoes just because a new pair comes out. When you buy a car like BMW she’ll stick a round for quite sometime. not sure if that holds true for Audi yet.

  32. Uxel says:

    tbh, i only like the spell advert. but they should have used cars without badges. i’m not in the marketing sector, but a successful company should’nt have to use other companies to make their own stronger, should they? that’s my impression of the advert. “oh, look, audi seems to struggle with lexus, merc and bmw.”

  33. XC says:

    And hey, the even set about on Ferrari! And that’s simply sacrilege. That is sacred ground.

  34. GxG says:

    they are actually comparing the R8 with the Ferrari California…they’ve gone 2 far with that…

  35. viper says:

    M cars do not beat the RS6 , RS8…that simple
    oh and also , the V12 TDI just shows how this extreme ridiculous power nonsense sells…they have balls…

  36. Kyle says:

    I remember when I drove a friends S4, was fast no doubt but the car had absolutely no soul and felt emotionless and uninvolving. Actually most Audi’s I have driven have been like that.

    Viper you should get off your high horse and go back to the Audi fan boy site. and oh yeah wheres your mention of the RS4? oh thats right the M3 is faster, good thing you tastefully left that one out eh?

  37. FANBOYS says:

    stop crying fanboys!

  38. A# says:

    Boo Hoo. Very few of you are drivers so stop crying BMW and Audi make the best cars period. No one else exists to me at the moment

  39. Luis Q. says:

    Think about this, why Audi and the whole car industry is always trying to compete, to be better, to look like, to be engineered and a loooong etc, like a BMW? don’t you figure it out? It’s as simple as BMW is the idea, the brand, the concepts and cars to follow! every guy in the car industry is waiting for: “What will BMW do next”, maybe they are doing something right, because every car company on this planet is always copying what BMW did 1, 2, 3, 4 even 5 years after they develop something (check that I wrote “Develop” not “Create”)

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