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Audi's Super Bowl secret

Marketers will pay about $2.7m to advertise in the upcoming Super Bowl and be part of the national zeitgeist for 30 seconds. I've long believed the sponsors which derive the biggest return are those that use the Super Bowl as part of a larger marketing initiative. (Thirty seconds just doesn't seem to last as long as it used to.)

Using the Super Bowl simply to run a new spot for an existing product is an exercise in brand vanity and a colossal waste of money. (Unless you're Bud or Pepsi where the main goal is to excite your bottlers.) However, it is a huge stage upon which to launch a new product or a new positioning.

Today I received an email from Audi that demonstrates this point. Audi offered me a sneak peek at its Super Bowl commercial and asserted that the advertising heralds a new and important chapter in the brand's history:

"Soon, a bold challenge to the tired old myths of luxury will be hitting millions of TV screens across the land. A new viewpoint. A new way of thinking. A new era.
On February 3rd, you will be sent an exclusive preview of the Audi Super Bowl commercial. You will have a chance to witness the moment that will set the nation talking.
The countdown has started. Don't miss the moment of truth.
Audi. Truth in Engineering."

Audi is clued into one of the secrets to a winning Super Bowl sponsorship. While the commercial has to be big and entertaining, what it says about the brand should be even bigger.

Based on the note I received from Audi, this announcement had better be awesome.