New Audi ad celebrates car brand’s heritage

BBH in London has released its latest spot for Audi. The commercial celebrates the brand’s heritage of aerodynamic technology and engineering, which, it says, has been evident in its cars since its concept vehicles of the 1920s…

BBH in London has released its latest spot for Audi. The ad celebrates the brand’s heritage of aerodynamic technology and engineering, which has been evident in its cars since its concept vehicles of the 1920s…

The spot takes the classic children’s story The Ugly Duckling as its theme, and opens in black-in-white with footage of one of pioneering Audi engineer Paul Jaray’s prototype car’s from the 1920s shown out on the roads. The ‘ugly duckling’ car featured in the ad was in fact created by modelmakers in just six weeks, using one of Jaray’s original 1920s drawings as a reference. As the ad progresses, we see the car metamorphose into a modern-day Audi A5.

The ad breaks on UK TV this weekend.

Agency: BBH London
Creative directors: Nick Kidney, Kevin Stark
Creatives: Matt Doman, Ian Heartfield
Production company: Park Pictures
Director: Joachim Back


CR in Print

Thanks for visiting the CR website, but if you are not also reading CR in print you’re missing out. Our April issue has a cover by Neville Brody and a fantastic ten-page feature on Fuse, Brody’s publication that did so much to foster typographic experimentation in the 90s and beyond. We also have features on charity advertising and new Pentagram partner Marina Willer. Rick Poynor reviews the Electric Information Age and Adrian Shaughnessy meets the CEO of controversial crowdsourcing site 99designs. All this plus the most beautiful train tickets you ever saw and a wonderful behind-the-scenes look at Thunderbirds in our Monograph supplement

The best way to make sure you receive CR in print every month is to subscribe – you will also save money and receive our award-winning Monograph booklet every month. You can do so here.

  • Pat

    Love the new Audi ad “the swan”.Think it was filmed in Slovenia not Germany!

  • The ad celebrates a rubbish design. But it’s still a good ad.

  • Constantine

    Just shows how cars have developed from characterful, individual designs to boring clones of each other

  • Thomas

    Vorsprung durch a magic puddle?

  • Iain

    It looks like lake bohinj in Slovenia next lake down fom Bled

  • Nicola

    It is definitely Lake Bohinj – many a happy holiday spent there. Also Skofja Loka where, btw, there is a very interesting bee museum.

  • Linda Goodland

    Very good, thin it must be Bohinj in Slovenia, clever advert

  • Andy Thomson

    The ad is brilliant and beutifully created.
    It certainly works for me……. Well done BBH and I’m off to buy a new A5!

  • Gregg

    It was filmed in Ribcev Laz on the shore of Lake Bohinj in Slovenia. I have dived off the bridge into the water below.

  • Duncan

    Gregg how can you dive in from the bridge ?
    It’s only about a foot deep at best ??
    You porkie pier ….

  • james nichol

    Love the new audi car advert

  • Anonymous

    Why does BBH always insist on comparing new and dull Audi cars to more beautiful and interesting cars? Last time they compared the Spyder to some really gorgeous stock cars. These ads are nicely shot, but they’re not working.

  • David Claxton

    Brilliant ad – great concept, very well executed

  • Roger H Lucas.

    Very well executed? A reflection is NOT a – I’m not to sure what to call the registration number plate we see in the puddle- reversal? turn around? crosseyed view? Call it what you will, it is wrong.
    A reflection is a MIRROR IMAGE.

    614 is NOT the mirror image = reflection of 416.

    Who didn’t spot this at the agency or Audi when presented?

    My late father whowas a draughtsman in the studio at Jaguar Cars would have spotted this on the first showing, I saw it 3 times before I did but am happy to “TRUMPET” this flaw here – I “SIGNET first!

    A clever use of the sweet song/story though.

    Now to check the reflection of the older versions number plate…

  • Roger H Lucas.

    The reflection of the older model is CORRECT!

    We look into the puddle in the same way that the ugly duckling did.

    (NOT from the viewpoint of someone standing on the other side of the puddle.
    If that were so we would see an upside down car in the puddle and the registration would be – the upside down “reflection”of LU 3956. The ” 6″ on the left ,the “L” on the right.)

    The number plate is seen mirrored “back to front” – 6593 UL.

    To check that this is correct write ( please use :) a “PENN” ) LU 3956 with a half circle above it to show the car shape. Then write the mirror image = reflection – beneath LU 3956. Draw a half circle beneath.
    LU3956 again to show the car shape.

    Turn the drawing around to see the reflection of the car with its number plate below the half circle.i.e car upright as in the puddle in the advert.

    To see the INCORRECT reflection of the latest model do the same with 416 YCC – half circle etc.

    You will get the number plate mirrored “back to front” with the half circle above it – CCY 614.

    In the puddle in the advert we see from the left of the plate 614 presumably followed by the letters.
    which are not visible in the TV version.

    This shows the car driving off giving an observers view of the number plate ” 416 YCC.”
    The “6” on the cars plate is in the middle of the number plate NOT on the left side (incorrect) which we see reflected in the puddle,
    which would give us a car driving off with the “6” on the right (correct) side of the actual number plate
    =CCY 416.
    Quack Quack !!
    If any one can shorten this – please do so…

  • Doug McMillan

    The car actually looks sad. We see it in a lonely setting, taking in it’s reflection, becoming more and more depressed at it’s own ugliness. It needs a hug, before being sent to be put out of it’s misery in the crusher. I do love the new Audi in the ad though….. I want one!

  • John

    YCC 416 is the reg in the puddle, but the reg is 416 YCC.

  • Gilly G

    Nobody wants to be an ugly duckling! This is an absolutely genius ad. I love it.

  • gringetoad

    I want the concept car…………..I think it’s beautiful not at all an ugly duckling !