• Video
  • Jan 13th 2012 at 12:30PM
  • 47
One man's new toy can be another's Moby Dick. Typically we'd mean that in a figurative sense, but Audi has taken things one step towards the literal – or literary – with its latest advertising spot.

The commercial centers around a Captain Ahab-like tow truck driver who has, when the roads turn white with deep snow, hooked just about everything on the road. Everything, that is, except the elusive Quattro.

The 60-second spot – called "Ahab" – features the latest A6, and is scheduled to air tomorrow during the NFL division playoffs (making it something of a junior Super Bowl ad). It will be followed by a 30-second version that will air nationally on other broadcasts, and Audi is building a broader digital content campaign around the ad as well, including a Facebook app to follow. You, however, don't have to wait for all that to see the clever clip: just click past the jump.

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Audi Launches Campaign to Celebrate Revolutionary quattro™ All-Wheel Drive Technology

- New :60 TV spot to debut nationally during NFL division playoffs
- Spot entitled "Ahab" takes inspiration from classic Herman Melville novel
- Campaign centered around Audi quattro with digital content, Facebook app and YouTube playlist

Herndon, Va., January 13, 2012 – Audi today announced a new advertising and marketing campaign to celebrate its innovative all-wheel drive technology, quattro™. Audi quattro is the top-selling luxury all-wheel drive system in the world, providing superior traction and handling and a balanced drive no matter the road condition. Audi is the only premium manufacturer to offer all-wheel drive on every one of its models.

The new campaign, with the tagline "the legendary Audi quattro," consists of a :60 television spot that will kick off during the National Football League division playoffs on Jan. 14. The ad will also air nationally as a :30 spot. Entitled "Ahab," the spot turns to one of the all-time classics in American literature for inspiration to help demonstrate the superiority of the Audi quattro all-wheel drive system on the toughest winter roads. The spot re-imagines Herman Melville's epic struggle between obsessed sea captain and the elusive white whale, but in Audi's modern incarnation, Ahab is a tow truck driver battling snowdrifts and whiteout conditions and his nemesis, the Audi quattro.

"Audi quattro has been a part of the brand's DNA for over 30 years and is core to the performance and design of Audi vehicles," said Scott Keogh, Chief Marketing Officer, Audi of America. "With this new campaign, Audi aims to celebrate its pioneer technology and continual commitment to its development, while increasing Audi's brand image and awareness, particularly of our all-wheel drive experience."

In addition to the "Ahab" broadcast spots, the campaign utilizes multiple platforms to bring to life the Audi quattro story, including display and mobile banners on weather and ski sites, online video placements and banners in enthusiast communities, refreshed content on Audi's "30+ Years of quattro" Facebook app and a new quattro playlist on YouTube.

As the first manufacturer to develop all-wheel drive technology for production sedans, Audi introduced quattro over three decades ago, setting the benchmark for driver confidence and performance. The advantage of all-wheel drive was most apparent when Audi introduced quattro to the World Rally Championship in 1981, resulting in an astounding 24 wins and a number of World Championships. The technology was so superior that it was later deemed an "unfair advantage" and banned from road racing altogether after repeatedly dominating the field.

Today, in that same competitive spirit, quattro all-wheel drive continues to be refined. In Audi vehicles with a longitudinal engine configuration, quattro is essentially a mechanical system with a self-locking center differential and continuously variable torque distribution. Audi quattro instantly responds to wheel speed differences and dynamically adjusts power to the wheels with the best traction. It is supported by advanced electronic control systems that together offer numerous benefits over other all-wheel drive systems. Featuring a 40:60 rear torque bias, the latest version of quattro offers sports car-like performance and handling, distributing traction to all four wheels for quicker off-the-line power and the ability to take on a 37.5 degree incline.

Audi quattro all-wheel drive is available on all models, including the new 2012 Audi A6, one of Audi's most innovative and technologically-advanced models to date. The A6 boasts an all-aluminum Audi 3.0 L TFSI® supercharged V6 engine with 310 horsepower, and makes up to 2,000 decisions per second to assist the driver. Safety in the all-new Audi A6 is enhanced by a thermal imaging camera with Night Vision Assistant as well as the Audi Pre-Sense Plus safety system. Other intelligent features include head-up display and a MMI® Touch pad that recognizes handwriting in multiple languages. Audi is the first company worldwide to feature factory-installed wireless internet, enabling features such as Audi connect™ for real-time weather, traffic news and live fuel prices, and MMI Navigation with 3-D Google Earth™ images.

Audi of America, Inc. and its U.S. dealers offer a full line of German-engineered luxury vehicles. AUDI AG is among the most successful luxury automotive brands globally. Audi was a top-performing luxury brand in Europe during 2011, and broke all-time company sales records in the U.S. Through 2016, AUDI AG will invest about $17 billion on new products and technologies. Visit www.audiusa.com or www.audiusanews.com for more information regarding Audi vehicle and business issues.

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    • 1 Second Ago
      Krishan Mistry
      • 3 Years Ago
      Why can't more commercials be like this? I understand that there is nothing to advertise about a Corolla (example) aside from price, mpg, and 0% financing, but on any car with an interesting characteristic, exploit it with a good ad like this. Volkswagen Group usually does the best here, they have tons of lateral thinking, humourous, and above all, memorable classics in advertising. This is an advertisement that I wish was a little bit longer, they could make a whole movie trailer length feature out of this. Unfortunately, as with most ads, the long ones are only shown first few times, then replaced by the butchered, shortened ones that really dont flow well at all.
        • 3 Years Ago
        @Krishan Mistry
        I agree. Also they should push viewers to the web where you can deliver much more content for cheaper. You can also push the boundaries and get a bit PG-13/R rated if you want. There's a lot that can be done but for some reasons the manufacturers aren't demanding better from their agencies or the agencies want to do it bit are being thwarted by the manufacturers.
      • 3 Years Ago
      That's a good, creative commercial .Compare and contrast with the Honda commercials (the ones with the actor in the sweater) leading up to Christmas. They were boring. Kinda like the brand. Some posters mentioned that if you're a brand that has some panache you should show it and I agree. The luxury brands might have a bit of an advantage in this area but there is so a lot car companies can do. For instance Subaru. A smaller brand with a lot of character. Jeep could do something similar. I don't know why there's such a dearth of good advertisements. Also, ads should point viewers to web sites where manufacturers can talk to their prospects and customers. If I'm interested in fuel economy you can talk to me. If I'm a gearhead, you can talk to me. Whatever I might want out of a vehicle you can convince me how your product delivers. Web space is cheap. Take advantage of it and engage your prospects and customers. This goes double for motorcycle manufacturers.
      • 3 Years Ago
      I wonder whose 4 wheel drive system is more reliable subaru audi or bmw. less moving parts dependability
        • 3 Years Ago
        Don't know about 4wd systems but reliability (in general) would probably go to Subaru. I really like and enjoy V.W./Audi products but methinks Subaru is a tad bit stouter.
      • 3 Years Ago
      this commercial was made in alaska. i know the guy who owns that tow truck . he said the company treated him real well. they fixed up his tow truck to road worthy status and paid him well for its use. thank you audi for your kind generous treatment of my friend. it helped him get back on his feet financially and put his bussiness of towing back into working condition. the truck is a 77 f-700 ford .
      • 3 Years Ago
      Audi is stupid
      • 3 Years Ago
      BIG KELL
      • 3 Years Ago
      Now that's original
      Noah Daniels
      • 3 Years Ago
      Perhaps "whale" is not the ideal analogy to use, Audi, given how bloated and lacking in manual transmissions your cars have become? Still, good video.
      • 3 Years Ago
      Quattro = car quattro = drivetrain 30 years of this and you still get it wrong. :P
        • 3 Years Ago
          • 3 Years Ago
          Actually, JayP is correct: http://www.audiusa.com/us/brand/en/exp/innovation/quattro.html http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Audi_Quattro Look at the badge on the grille or dash of the next Audi you see - It's a small "q" http://image.motortrend.com/f/9484039+w786+ar1/112_0801_09z+2009_audi_a4+quattro_badge.jpg
      • 3 Years Ago
      That is nice. Creative advert. A guy I work with has one of the new A5's with the 2.0 turbo and 6spd - pricey for a 4cyl but very nice and beautiful. And the Audi v-8s sound amazing.
      Andre Neves
      • 3 Years Ago
      God, the A6 is such a perfect/beautiful car.
      Whit Hamnett
      • 3 Years Ago
      Light humored and bad ass thumbs up audi!
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