Audi Activates at Alcatraz to Motivate its Dealers
The goal was the same as it would be for any automotive dealer meeting: Fire up the dealers. But Audi faced a unique set of challenges. Another huge event taking place in San Francisco that weekend meant it would be nearly impossible to find hotel rooms for 400 or a space large enough to stage six vehicle reveals. Timing was critical because the meeting coincided with Super Bowl Sunday and the automaker wanted to excite attendees about a TV spot it would run during the game.
The solution was to rethink the typical Audi event. The automaker set its sights on nearby Treasure Island, where it built a 25,000-square-foot structure from the ground up in less than a week. The design included a showroom-style foyer and a theater with a stage featuring a 40-foot LED wall whose middle panel could be raised and lowered like a garage door to reveal the new vehicles. The show culminated with an Audi Q3 prototype being brought onstage while the LED door remained lit and lights behind the wall came on to reveal a salon where all of the show vehicles were on display. Dealers were asked to join executives for champagne and hors d’oeuvres.
For the evening celebration, Audi brought its dealers to Alcatraz Island aboard a luxury yacht. There, National Park rangers led tours of the legendary prison before guests gathered for a preview of the Super Bowl commercial. To close the weekend, the brand held a Super Bowl party at the Clift hotel.
Audi executives cited the excitement of the dealers as the motivation to begin producing the Audi Q3 for the American market. The event even grabbed some blogger ink, including a mention from The Wall Street Journal.