Winner 2019



Audi e-tron

Entered by:

PHD Germany


iTunes, Podigee, Spotify, Soundcloud, Youtube, Deezer, Viertausendhertz

Bring the e-tron to the digital airwaves

The Challenge

Audi has a history of promoting progressive, premium driving – leading the way in all wheel drive through quattro, redefining premiumness through the A8 and combining both elements in the Q range. However, their latest launch
was more than a model, it was a seminal moment for the company, a revolution for the future for the brand so activity around this had to be extraordinary whilst also demonstrating that Audi e-tron builds on everything that owners love about their cars, so communicating to them that the Audi e-tron did not compromise on its Audi DNA was essential to ensure that it was a success.

It was important that whatever approach Audi took to educate their potential customers not only conveyed complicated information in a clear and simple way but it also had to be credible, backed up by inputs and opinions from well-respected experts in their field – and this was going to be difficult to do in traditional media, but did lend itself nicely to utilising a format that has become increasingly popular with consumers – Podcasts.

Whilst branded podcasts have seen a significant increase in usage in the US, it was still an underutilized format of communications in Germany although local research suggested that 81% of podcast listeners were open to native
content and messaging as a means of receiving brand communications. This presented an essential opportunity for Audi to take a Vorsprung position and ensure that they established clear leadership for the brand, in both EV but
also in the adoption of this new format.

The Strategy

Working with Audi’s marketing team, a process of identifying the most relevant, interesting and credible speakers were identified – a mix of those involved in the Audi e-tron project from a design and engineering perspective but also wider authorities in the world of emobility – from startup founders to project leads for government infrastructure projects incl.

  • Reiner Schipporeit, Curator at the German Museum of Technology
  • Hans Sall, project lead at eRoad Arlanda in Sweden
  • Alexander Segmuller, founder of ewheelmotion
  • Jens van Eikels, product lead for the Audi e-tron
  • Phillip Romers, Exterior design lead for the Audi e-tron

Key topics were identified based on some of the most common misperceptions and myths that existed in the understanding of EVs across Germany, Austria and Switzerland – such as concerns charging capacity and infrastructure.

A total of 6 episodes featuring 16 speakers from both Audi and external institutions was produced, each of them addressing a key perception – from the history of e-mobility (episode one) to user-friendly, mobile charging concepts
(episode 4) and beyond. Whilst the public perception around EV’s only scratches the surface, Audi’s podcast provided a deeper, behind-the-scenes analysis of the involvement and progress of government bodies, startups and German engineering heavy weights in this topic. Educating the audience about Audi’s Vorsprung position and cultural impact in this field, the podcast content effectively drives thrill and anticipation for the upcoming e-tron models.

The Implementation

Audi’s global unveiling of the e-tron was on the 17th September and the podcasts were designed to ride the crest of the wave of interest that this global event caused – all episodes were pushed live via a number of local and global
high reach podcast and streaming services whilst interest was drummed up through a paid media push using 45” native editorial teasers aired on other podcast channels, 20 sec. radio and Social Media teaser ads as well as CRM
and on-platform recommendation.

In total, the paid media push delivered a total of 9,5m ad impressions targeted to the key EV Considerer audience – those who were starting to become aware of the potential of owning an electric vehicle but who were not, as yet,
completely decided on the model to purchase – this linked with the wider marketing efforts that were being undertaken in market to promote the car.

The Result

In terms of the overall impact of the podcasts, over 250k streams were generated over the course of the 2 months that the podcasts were available

  • Audi’s e-mobility podcast ranked #1 in the Apple Technology Podcast charts for 4 weeks
  • Average listening duration of 21’18” (podcasts varied in length but were between 21-29 mins long)
  • 63% of listeners had a completion rate of 75% or more

More importantly, pre and post tracking shows that the podcast series had a noticeable impact on the target audience

  • Prior to broadcast, 19% of listeners associated Audi with EV
  • Post broadcast, 42% of listeners associated Audi with EV

Whilst this 121% uplift in brand perception is already strong, first choice purchase intent of an Audi e-tron also increased by 21%, making Audis Branded Podcast an effective sales catalyzer. Consequently we keep riding the Vorsprung wave with 6 new episodes being developed to support the Market
Introduction of the car in March.