As the world descends into disarray over the environmental crisis, the car manufacturing industry faces its biggest challenge yet. Amid the scramble to hurry an eco-friendly vehicle out of the factory door quicker than the next automaker, brands are falling creatively flat and succumbing to stale clichés around clean lifestyles.
Audi has continued to steer its own narrative in recent years, its partnerships with BBH London (including last year’s Clowns ad and the more recent Synchronised Swim) helping to redefine what contemporary car advertising can, and arguably should, be.
In a bid to stand out in an already crowded luxury electric SUV market, Audi took a more inventive approach to promote the launch of the new e-tron. Renowned documentary photographers Paolo Pellegrin and Gueorgui Pinkhassov were drafted in to the Brussels production plant for the campaign, which debuted on the new Magnum site dedicated to the relaunch of the photography cooperative’s commercial services. The Audi project is just one of many new Magnum campaigns marrying esteemed photographers with leading brands, among them Fujifilm and Samsung.
Uncovering “a new era of car production”, the Audi e-tron campaign documents the factory floor, splicing technical shots with geometric angles and slick surfaces. The car itself is scarcely on show in its full glory, but if flailing car advertising has shown us anything, it’s that sometimes less is more.