Audi has gone live with its first ever AFL marketing push around its sponsorship of premiership club Hawthorn, giving the club's top players a seemingly impossible task that ties in with the luxury car brands' mantra.
The campaign, titled “Greatness Never Rests” was created by 303 MullenLowe, and sees three Hawks players aim to kick an AFL some 60 metres from one rooftop in Melbourne to the other, in the dark.
Last year, Audi announced it was partnering with the Hawks and the AFL, making it the only luxury brand to do so. Speaking with AdNews, Audi Australia marketing GM Kevin Goult says the campaign was about showcasing what the Hawks can do and mirroring that with what the brand strives for everyday.
“A sponsorship only works when you bring it to life and you actively communicate it. The underlying brief says: we've got this great relationship with the Hawks, we've got this superb sponsorship activity, so now how do we engage the fans?
“It was about showcasing what the Hawks can do and what we can do together. That's where the idea of kicking a ball from the top a building in Melbourne was born from,” he adds.
Goult explains that everything in the spot is “100% real”, adding that the players didn't know what they were in for until they made it to the rooftop.
“You don't stop until you make it. That's what [Audi's slogan] 'Vorsprung durch Technik' means, you don't stop until you make it, you don't stop until you make something better, lighter or faster,” he says. “That really is where it shows our determination and their determination, because between the three of them, they were not going to let this fail.
“They [the players] were all super keen to keep going, we wouldn’t have let them down until they made it,” he adds.
A seven-figure deal
While Audi wouldn't be led on exactly what the sponsorship and campaign investment looks like for the brand, Audi Australia MD Andrew Doyle explains the sponsorship was a seven-figure deal, with Goult adding the marketing push has the same level of media spend behind it.
“We have a seven-figure media investment behind this campaign,” Goult says. “It's significant for us, this is a big push. It's about making sure that we bring this to the forefront of people's minds, whether you're a fan, or not a fan, the idea here is to get a trigger for everyone.
"The fact that something like this is possible means that you have to put some big media spends behind it to make it right."
When discussing the sponsorship, Doyle explains that approvals went all the way back to Germany, adding that what's vital for the brand when undertaking sports partnerships is that they don't just sit back and let the logo on the guernsey do the talking.
“[Germany] insisted that we really activate as much as we sponsor,” Doyle says. “We've not a brand that plugs our logo onto the players shorts and leave it at that, we're always challenging ourselves to do something special and unique such as the 'Greatness Never Rests' campaign.”
The campaign rolls out nationally tomorrow (6 May) and will be followed by a last-minute behind the scenes video featuring Hawks players attempting to take on an Audi R8.
The online films will run on YouTube and via Audi Australia and the Hawthorn Football Club’s social channels.
Have something to say on this? Share your views in the comments section below. Or if you have a news story or tip-off, drop us a line at firstname.lastname@example.org