A time when “the main emphasis of products in advertisements was at satisfying needs and serving a function” has passed (lecture). We now live in a time period where we are so overwhelmed with goods that we desire something different. It is proposed that today, “individuals should expect to achieve a significant measure of personal happiness and evidence of social success as a result of their involvement in consumption” (Leiss et al, 226). It is not only about satisfying a need or serving a function but also about what that satisfaction means to the consumer.

Through its advertisement, Audi successfully sends a clear message about its newest product. Rather than communicating the feature of the product, Audi tells us about the cultural meaning that the product will have. Hence, “brands are stories attached to manufactured objects” (lecture). The counselor in the advertisement advices his student that he will graduate from one of top three universities, work in one of top three professional fields and purchase one of top three cars in the market. Such advice initially shows a social aspect about our society. There is a certain socioeconomic status and prestige that follows top universities, jobs and cars. We, as society, regard those three components as the definition of success. In order to be considered successful and accepted by members of our society, we must follow the path the counselor advices. It is such a well patched road to success with no variations or fun, almost to the point where it’s not special. We can see such emotions in the eyes of the student listening to his counselor who senselessly predict his future. The student starts to frown and expresses confusion and doubts as he hears his counselor talk until the Audi A5 drives into the school with its enticing engine sound – a moment for him to break the cycle.

When Audi tells its consumers “Consider the cycle broken,” it does not mean to state that Audi is any less important or luxurious than the aforementioned three brands. By distinguishing its brand from others, Audi proposes to take a different approach and position itself in a particular way. “Goods are an important means whereby consumers can communicate to other their relationships to complex sets of otherwise abstract social attributes (such as status), thus identifying themselves within social structures” (Leiss et al, 230). Audi appeals to the mindset that the A5 is not something that everyone can have or wants. It is for people who desire to break away from the cycle, who want to make a statement by being different. However, by placing its brand alongside with BMW, Mercedes-Benz and Lexus, Audi aims to gain both the same luxurious status as those brands with a different approach. The brand sells the story of a person who will have the same prestigious social status as someone who owns a luxurious car and lives a successful life but also does so outside of the box unlike others. Audi distinguishes itself not from any other car brand but among the top brands. Hence, the consumer will not be distinguishing himself from everyone or anyone, but only within the already elite community; it gives the consumer a status within a particular community.

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