Special Events

Audi uses acupuncture approach in product launch

Car-maker Audi took to the streets in style with its "Streets of Tomorrow" launch for its newest model Q7 SUV. The event drew more than 1,500 guests to the Pacific Design Center in Los Angeles over the weekend.

In deliberate contrast to ride-and-drives that create hospitality venues on empty paved lots to maximize the driving experience, the "Streets" campaign is designed to give customers the brand experience and lifestyle in urban settings with distinctive local flavor. At the landmark Pacific Design Center, Audi cars were posed directly in front of high-end interior furnishings showrooms.

The event offered seminars and demonstrations to guests, including gourmet cooking by Wolfgang Puck Catering, which also catered the event. The breakfast menu included white chocolate-dipped granola on a stick, banana "spring rolls" in caramel sauce, and grilled Medjool dates with mascarpone and bacon. Buffets displayed chilled filet mignon on foccacia with watercress and horseradish creme fraiche, tuna salad with chive mayonnaise on baquette slices, and Black Forest ham with Gruyere and whole-grain mustard on pretzel bread slices. Desserts included chocolate spoons filled with chocolate mousse and raspberries, miniature creme brulees, and chocolate-dipped feta "satay" with a "wildberry plunge" dipping sauce.

Also on display were home entertainment systems from Bang & Olufsen and a photography exhibit from magazine Vanity Fair, along with travelogues from exotic travel company Abercrombie & Kent and a lecture by the director of the American Film Institute's film festival, AFI FEST, which Audi sponsors. Along with an array of shiny Audis, the event also included product presentations of Ducati "superbikes" and Gaggenau's new coffee machines.

Audi of America marketing director Stephen Berkov calls his approach to event marketing "acupuncture" marketing," which he describes as "going deep into the centers of affluence and influence." He tells Special Events Magazine, "True to Audi's heritage, 'Streets of Tomorrow' is a festival of innovation, technology, design and performance."

The "Streets of Tomorrow" campaign started in late April and will run through early June. The 10 target markets are New York, San Diego, Chicago, Los Angeles, Philadelphia, San Francisco, Atlanta, Seattle, Miami and Dallas. The event teams hopes to reach roughly 25,000 customers and potential customers in total.

Supporting the Audi marketing team is experiential marketing producer MVP Collaborative of Madison Heights, Mich.

Guests gather to take the wheel of new Audis at the Pacific Design Center; Bang & Olufsen offers a demonstration of its home entertainment systems; Audi of America marketing director Stephen Berkov shows off high-end cars in a landmark of high-end design (top to bottom). Photos by Special Events Magazine.

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