Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Audi Crowd Sourcing

Yesterday I wrote about Unilever's move with Peperami towards a full crowd sourcing model. In that case, Unilever went as far as to end a 15 year relationship with Peperami's advertising agency, Lowe. That was perhaps an extreme example of brands/businesses that are moving to a crowdsourcing model but it's certainly not an isolated occurance. Aside from Doritos and Pringles
who were also both mentioned yesterday, Audi are the next big brand to step up to the table and call on their fans and customers to drive their coming developments.

The whole campaign has grown off this year’s Los Angeles Design Challenge, which is titled 'Youth Mobile 2030'. Design design studios from all over Southern California have been called on to submit their vision of what a 2030 customer will want.

Audi, who currently have more than 324,000 Facebook fans (making them one of the highest among auto brands), have partnered up with TurnHere, to create a video based campaign asking fans for their input on what features they want to see on future models. TurnHere produced videos profiling Audi's participation in the "Youth Mobile 2030" design challenge for its Facebook fan page. The videos show the overall participation that Audi have had in the design challenge. Essentially, they present a showcase of actual Audi designers sharing their own design philosophies and visions of the future, and describe how Audi wants to consider lifestyle, form and function for future designs.

The campaign will primarily be run through Facebook, and shows a real hands on application of the massive fanbase that the company have developed. This not only shows great use of an extremely valuable resource but also goes to reinforce the ideals of Social Media, as a brand goes back to its users and asks them what they want (ref. Vodafone Mission Red for a current Irish example of this).

“Video is a powerful way to experience the Audi brand and the passion of our design team. We wanted to show our Facebook fans that we’re committed to creating automobiles that fit our changing lifestyles; and having this conversation with them is a critical part of that process,” said Brad Stertz, Manager of Corporate Communications for Audi of America. “TurnHere did a great job of capturing that passion and desire in an authentic way that lets our designers start the conversation online among our fans."

Through the videos, fans are encouraged to participate in Team Audi's efforts by participating in the live discussion, giving feedback, and helping to answer the question 'How will your car play a role in keeping you connected to your digital world in the future?'

"Audi is using social media to excite its community and engage them in their brand and design process. Video is an integral element to showing the human side of any brand and creating a personal connection," said John McWeeny, COO at TurnHere. "Online video production is now very affordable, and more brands are able to use video to engage people on the social web."

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