- Audi electric - bringing a car launch to life through community-led story telling

DriveTribe work for Audi demonstrated strength of social publishing platform

Earlier this month we reported the news that DriveTribe had picked-up the Drum Magazine’s coveted “Commercial Campaign of the Year” award at the 2019 Online Media Effectiveness Awards.

The award, for an eight-month sponsorship targeting electric vehicle adopters and opinion formers, told the story behind the launch of the Audi e-tron as well as Audi's broader foray into the electric vehicle market.

In choosing DriveTribe, Yvonne Hippner, Director of International Marketing Communication at Audi recognised the opportunity “to create a dedicated community for Audi Electric, through which it could build an ongoing narrative, combining contributions from Audi alongside influencers, journalists, community members and DriveTribe’s editorial team.”

The Drum cited the campaigns’ effectiveness in “educating millions of drivers on the subject of electric vehicles, changing perceptions and sentiment while driving purchase intent.”

But alongside those accolades, the thing that helped Audi's campaign to strike a chord with our community, was what CEO of DriveTribe Jonathan Morris described as, "our ability to deliver engagement through a diverse set of editorial and media assets. We covered every angle from the e-tron’s engineering and unique features, through to the practical enjoyment and everyday capabilities of owning an EV.”

To help tell the story behind the campaign, below are some of the highlights that demonstrate DriveTribe's ability to help brands tell their story from several angles

Countdown to launch

Launched in April 2018, the campaign kicked off with an exclusive live stream reveal of Audi’s new electric race car, the e-tron Vision Gran Turismo, at their test circuit at Neuberg, Germany.

Social media influencer and regular contributor on DriveTribe Queen B, aka Becky Evans, led the broadcast, before heading to the track to show the vehicle racing for the first time in the public eye.

The e-Tron Gran Turismo was initially conceived in the world of electronic gaming, and claims to be the first virtual racing car brought to life to compete in a Formula E series. As the photos show below, we brought together interviews with Kazunori Yamauchi the creator of the Gran Turismo game, as well as Audi Formula E driver Daniel Abt.

We also united the world's of virtual and physical driving together as we pitted Social Media gaming influencer Jimmy Broadbent up against a cast of real life drivers and racing drivers, each competing on the Gran Turismo gaming platform.

Over the following eight months, DriveTribe demonstrated the flexibility and engagement-led nature of its publishing platform, supporting a range of formats including: video, long and short form articles, picture-stories, memes, quizzes and polls, as shown in the examples below.

Throughout the campaign, DriveTribe's editorial and production teams had the enviable job of travelling the world to experience the e-tron on a series of test regimes and pre-launch reveals. Trips included Nambia, Scotland, Spain, Germany and the final reveal of the e-tron in San Francisco, California. Each of these trips brought the car to life in a way that captured the excitement and importance behind the launch.

Another aspect of our reporting saw our editorial team, including engineering expert Mike Fernie, go behind the scenes to explore the technology and features incorporated in the e-tron. As the examples below show, we reported news on forthcoming launch announcements as well as interviews with one of the e-tron's lead designers Stephan Fahr-Becker.

While Audi’s stream of content sat within a dedicated Tribe on DriveTribe, directly followed by over 140,000 subscribers, the Marketing team at DriveTribe ensured the campaign reached a much bigger audience, promoting the videos and written articles to relevant groups on DriveTribe as well extending reach via social media channels like Facebook, Instagram, YouTube and Twitter. The combined weight of all these channels enabled Audi's content to generate in the region of 20 million views.

As Yvonne Hippner said, “from a messaging point of view, we were able to tell the story of the e-tron as it progressed towards last November’s launch date. We were also able to thread that message into discrete sub-communities on DriveTribe, ranging from everyday car buyers and electric vehicle early adopters, through to niche groups such as online gaming tribes, able to experience Audi’s virtual electric racing cars.”

As a final word from Adam Nunn, Global Business Lead at PHD, the media company that planned and purchased Audi's campaign “the eight-month programme left a legacy of over 140k Audi Electric followers on Drivetribe that we can revisit at any point. Over the course of the campaign period we saw purchase intent amongst that community shift markedly, with propensity to consider buying electric as their next vehicle increase from 23% at the start of the year, to 69% by the end.”

A hefty lump of an award that recognises eight months of impassioned work