Sunday, October 08, 2006

Patent Filings = Innovation? Audi's Advertising Agency Thinks So

Not quite a life patent, but so interesting I could not resist blogging it. The latest Audi commercial features "patent filings" as a slogan. The campaign hinges on a link between filings (not even granted patents, but just filings) and prestige and innovation.

It's the latest campaign for the Audi A6, entitled "A6: Patent No VOR5PRU7NGDUR6CHT3CHN1K" (catchy, yes?). The advertisement features a man and his dog walking along a deserted country road in the middle of the night. He hears a sound in the sky and looks to the stars, a fast-moving object speeds through the sky, interspersed with quick images of patent specification documents. The advertisement reaches the climax slogan, "To date, NASA has filed 6509 patents. In development the A6, Audi filed 9621" ... as an A6, after orbiting the earth, plunges out of the sky and into the ocean.

Now that's compelling advertising.


Anonymous said...

Apparently if I buy an Audi I'm not paying for engineering or quality, I'm paying patent lawyers. No thanks.

Richard Young said...

The Audi ad says more about business's propensity to patent these days, of course, than it does about the relative innovation in the moon shot and the A6. How many of those patents were for tiny, incremental changes or components? How much of the Apollo project technology found its way (relatively) unimpeded into the world compared to the access Audi is likely to give out for its new switch design or a new carpet weave? Still, interesting marketing...