By on January 16, 2009

Audi is the official sponsor of President Elect Barack Obama’s inauguration. No really. “ABC, CBS, NBC evening newscasts will be presented with limited commercial breaks exclusively from Audi. An eight-page insert in major newspapers nationwide [USA Today, The Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post, Los Angeles Times, The Miami Herald, Chicago Tribune, San Francisco Chronicle, and The Boston Globe] highlight Audi innovations and Audi will be the sole sponsor of the inaugural address on top news sites.” Isn’t Ingolstadt a little leery of playing partisan politics with America’s well-heeled motorists? “Regardless of political preferences, the inauguration represents a unique moment of progress,” Audi NA Prez Johan de Nysschen. “That’s why we wanted to share this experience and begin a conversation about innovation, technology and the path ahead.” Get it? No? Let’s try that again…

“The uncommon shared experience of the inauguration offered a remarkable opportunity to connect with Americans,” said Scott Keogh, Chief Marketing Officer, Audi of America. “In honoring this historic moment, Audi is also communicating the inherent spirit of progress and innovation that is the core of our corporate DNA.”

Well, if you don’t get it now, you’ll have plenty of opportunities to do so.

“Following the inaugural, Audi will provide monthly insights into the innovative work being done across its business. The examples will show the American public that Audi intends to be a future-oriented company finding solutions to the challenges of today.” Me, I’m in the now. If you’re interested.

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29 Comments on “Audi Co-Brands with Obama...”


  • avatar
    no_slushbox

    That pales in comparison to this:

    http://nymag.com/daily/food/2009/01/swear-in_obama_with_a_hennessy_44_bottle.html

  • avatar
    CAHIBOstep

    I don’t understand the use of the term “co-brand” in the title. How are Obama and Audi acting in cooperation with each other? Is Obama sponsoring Audi in return?

    I don’t see how Audi is playing partisan politics by sponsoring the inauguration coverage. I don’t see that at all. However, I am interested to hear some other views on that.

  • avatar
    John Horner

    At least Audi isn’t using US taxpayer cash to buy the advertising.

  • avatar
    mtypex

    Audi has too much money and aggressive expansion plans … and too little brains. They are co-branding themselves with an Unknown Quantity.

    Audi became THE brand of choice for A-types (and A-type wannabes; I love the A5/S5) a couple of years ago. They’ve been (re)building in the US for the past 20 years now.

    Of course, A-types are always chasing the next big thing, and if the Obama administration crashes, this is going to be a big mistake for Audi.

  • avatar
    volvo240_4evar

    This is a smart move by Audi. And smart of the D3 to stay away.

    Also, the president-elect is Barack Obama, not Barak.

  • avatar
    autoemployeefornow

    “well heeled motorists”
    Republicans you say.
    Why would Audi back a Democrat you say?
    Hmmmm. Looks like Audi is backing the winner regardless of partisan politics.

  • avatar

    Oh boy. The only thing I can think of is that the Germans don’t really understand our politics. Piech had the D2-gen A8 W12 made for Schroeder, you know. There’s kind of that “industry and government hand in hand” over there. In fact, they even had a name for it, although it escapes me at the time.

  • avatar
    romanjetfighter

    I guess Obama also symbolizes the rich law-studying Yale-educated arugula-eating crowd.

    Audi wants to suck all their pockets dry!!

  • avatar
    SunnyvaleCA

    Luxury foreign car advertisements aren’t going to mesh well with Obama’s “rebuilding America” type speeches. I don’t see this as a good move by Audi.

  • avatar
    mtypex

    There isn’t going to be any rebuilding of America. Obama = globalist
    Now that all the wealthy Chinese have their Audis … America, you can have them too!

    So, is this Arugula stuff any good? Never ate it before.

  • avatar
    tedward

    Sorry, but I don’t see how this can be construed as a political endorsement or association at all. They’re kicking off an ad campaign at a major viewing event…kind of like a superbowl sunday. What’s the big deal? Is our President-elect, or any soon-to-be more prominent democrats, getting a percentage of the proceeds? Or is this a straight deal between Audi and the news outlets? The first would be sketchy

  • avatar
    tedward

    but otherwise…not so much

  • avatar
    seabrjim

    After my TL lease ran out, I didnt like the 09 so I am waiting. Audi wants to suck up to the latest illuminati controlled puppet? I just crossed the A4 off my list.

  • avatar
    mtypex

    @ seabrjim:

    It looks like a lot of people don’t like the 2009 TL. I for one hope Acura survives!

  • avatar
    PeteMoran

    Is there even one single day in the USA that isn’t commercialised??????

  • avatar
    HeBeGB

    Audi may be sponsoring some of the coverage of the Inauguration on some of the networks, but they are not “sponsoring President Elect Barack Obama’s Inauguration”. C’mon, getting a bit O’Reilly-esque here are we?

  • avatar
    bkac

    Just to fan the conspiracy flames now that someone has referred to our next president as an “Illuminati-controlled puppet”….

    From the 1977 book by Robert Anton Wilson called Cosmic Trigger: Final Secret of the Illuminati:

    “Briefly, the background of the Bavarian Illuminati puzzle is this. On May 1, 1776, in Bavaria, Dr. Adam Weishaupt, a professor of Canon Law at Ingolstadt University and a former Jesuit, formed a secret society called the Order of the Illuminati within the existing Masonic lodges of Germany. Since Masonry is itself a secret society, the Illuminati was a secret society within a secret society, a mystery inside a mystery, so to say.”

    Coincidence? Yeah probably. But still…

    Oh, and don’t worry, Audi. As a 10-year owner of a 2000 S4, you’ll have to co-brand something worse than this to stop me from getting the 2010…

  • avatar

    The illuminati is just something made up by smart people to sell books (and television episodes) to dumb people.

    Imagine a government that allows people’s imaginations to run wild to the point where they think EVERYTHING is a conspiracy and that aliens landed in New Mexico.

    The flame wars against Obama are posted by the disenfranchised losers who voted for Pailin/McCain (cause they wanted a woman like her) and the people who take everything Ron Paul and Peter Schiff say as if it is the word of God.

    NOTHING MORE THAN THAT.

    I don’t blame Bush for the past 8 years of disaster. I BLAME THE IDIOTS WHO ELECTED HIM. I Blame the LAZY AMERICANS that didn’t vote against him – or at all.

  • avatar
    reclusive_in_nature

    Hmmm a brand with reliability issues “endorsing” a president with reliability issues. Sounds about right. I can see the logo now “Audi and Obama: We know what’s best for you.”

  • avatar
    postjosh

    # HeBeGB :

    Audi may be sponsoring some of the coverage of the Inauguration on some of the networks, but they are not “sponsoring President Elect Barack Obama’s Inauguration”. C’mon, getting a bit O’Reilly-esque here are we?

    couldn’t agree more. notice bob’s clever use of “co-branding” in the title. he doesn’t qualify the type of sponsorship until the second sentence.

  • avatar
    sean362880

    Obama is a hero in Germany. Not sure why, but remember the 200,000 screaming Germans who showed up to that speech at the Tiergarten? He wasn’t even president yet. Wasn’t even an official nominee yet.

    Audi is probably playing towards the market at home just as much as in the US. Just business.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2008/07/25/us/politics/sub25OBAMAcnd.html?_r=1&scp=1&sq=obama%20germany%20speech&st=cse

  • avatar
    golf4me

    Sad. I really liked Audis too. Oh well.

  • avatar
    mtypex

    @ those who are using this announcement as pretext to attack Audi: Years of German Schadenfreude in spades wasn’t enough, but this is? Tell us you never liked Audis, and then we will know. I mean, they are really ‘just’ luxury VWs.

  • avatar
    Qwerty

    In other news Go Daddy will be cosponsoring the Super Bowl by buying several thirty second spots, Enzyte will be cosponsoring a Clint Eastwood marathon on AMC, and GoldKit.com will be cosponsoring a run of Beverly Hillbillies episodes on the Nostalgia Channel.

  • avatar
    fredtal

    I voted for Obama and drive a A3. So much of advertising is just bs. Except those on TTAC!

  • avatar
    happy-cynic

    Sounds like Audi is trying to get in on the change thing.
    It would be interesting to find out how much the Obama camp has endorsed this (I doubt it)

    I saw an interview featuring Pres-elect Obama. He is not a car guy at all.

    As for “one goverment” taking over theory;
    Please remember the UN is a joke, and the US Federal Gov has soo many different depts, the actually compete with each other. Hard to see them all going in one direction. Also you might want to re-consider choice of head-gear. note the study done by MIT below

    http://people.csail.mit.edu/rahimi/helmet/

  • avatar

    @happy-cynic
    I would be very interested to know what he said to make you think he’s not a car guy. He had a Chrysler 300 V8 before he was outed for it by the press during the election after having said nasty things about the big 3 making bigger faster cars. He traded it for an Escape Hybrid. I suppose a real car guy might have defended his choice or said its his own biz instead of trading it, but it’s hard to imagine someone buying a car like that if they didn’t have some appreciation of driving.

  • avatar
    George B

    I don’t see how Audi is playing partisan politics by sponsoring the inauguration coverage. I don’t see that at all. However, I am interested to hear some other views on that.

    Consider the reaction if Audi or another car manufacturer had been the sole sponsor of the inaugural address on top news sites in 2004. Close to half of the votes cast were for the other candidate in both cases. Being association with the inagural address of either Obama or Bush would be controversial to a significant part of the population.

    Toyota sponsorship of events provides an interesting contrast. First on the list: Bass fishing!
    http://www.toyota.com/motorsports/events/index.html

  • avatar
    protege_eco

    I have to agree with PeteMoran. This is just another example of corporations finding an avenue to get their name mentioned via a media outlet for the country and the world to see. When was the last time that any of us watched a football game, for example, and not have Taco Bell or AT&T tell us the name of the offensive line?

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