You there! Yes, you, the bearded fellow decked out in American Apparel clothes holding up traffic on your fixie bike. Put down your organic coffee for a moment and listen up: According to a 64 page (!) leaked document, Audi wants to sell you the 2015 Audi A3 so badly they’re harnessing the things you love, like Chvrches, bacon donuts and a lack of patterns.
Ace reporter Gabe Nelson over at Automotive News has a scoop on Audi’s launch party plans for the brand new, now it’s a sedan so you Americans better buy it this time A3.
Audi is asking their 280 dealers across the U.S. to throw fancy parties aimed at selling the A3 to cool “urban” people in their mid-20s to early 40s. Since car dealerships are hardly bastions of underground coolness, they’ve sent a helpful guide to their dealers on how to throw kickass ragers designed to get hipsters into A3s with the utmost haste.
While Audi never specifically uses the word “hipster” in the guide, it’s very clear who they’re going for here: younger people into craft beer, locally sourced food, and musicians like Grimes, Empire of the Sun, M83 and Cut Copy. (Crap, that’s like two-thirds of the Jalopnik staff, too.) The words “cool” and “uncompromised” are used a lot.
The 64-page guide is incredibly detailed and bizarrely specific to the point of unintentional hilarity. Here are some of the highlights I picked out:
Somehow sell cars to people who don’t sell out
When compiling your guest list for the event, keep in mind that your target audience should reflect an uncompromising spirit in a generation that refuses to settle or sell out. The uncompromised consumer is technology driven, values shared experiences, and is inspired by discovery and exploration.
Invite people besides the same aging one-percenters who lease a new A8 every year
We strongly encourage you to find attendees outside of your current owner base by reaching out to upscale, hip gathering places such as restaurants or galleries and extending an invitation to their social circles.
Young, urban, hip, sick of their Corollas
The A3 target consumer is cool, young and urban and looking to upgrade from their non-premium sedan into an Audi, as well as other A-segment consumers who are attracted to the Audi brand.
Have cool music, not shitty music like BMW or whoever
The music needs to demonstrate an obvious cool-factor, and create the kind of hip, nighttime, uncompromised ambience that no other competitor can deliver.
Bacon & Spice Doughnut with Maple Glaze
Ooooh, there’s a Spotify playlist, I want that
In the event that budget does not allow for a live act, a DJ with the appropriate look and style will be essential for ensuring a successful event. The DJ should be well-established, convey the appropriate “cool-factor,” and be willing to play a selection of relevant music using the A3 launch Spotify playlist as a guide. The Spotify playlist will be available for download on the ADMC.
Display hashtag license plates for maximum social media exposure
We encourage you to use the #AudiA3 vanity plates, which have been provided to each dealership for the “hero” cars displayed in your showroom.
Do it in a loft or something, hipsters love lofts
A raw event space, warehouse, photo studio, or loft (keep in mind that a raw space will require additional seating/décor elements, which will increase costs).
LEDs because we are Audi after all
Lighting should reinforce the ‘night time’ nature of the event. Overall, keep the lighting simple with white lights and subtle red light LED accents.
No, you can’t order Pizza Hut
This target audience likely shops local, supports local businesses, and buys organic. This is something to factor into your decisions regarding food and drink. Consider partnering with a “niche,” farm-to-table type restaurant that offers fresh/organic cuisine with unique pairings of flavors and textures.
Or serve Miller Lite
The following are some examples of established craft breweries and distilleries to use as a reference when you are considering beverage options for the event. Breweries: Evil Twin Brewing, Celis Beer and Brooklyn Brewery; Distilleries: Death’s Door Spirits, Kings County Distillery, Widow Jane Distillery
We will lose all creditability as a brand if you mess up the hors d’oeuvres
Request that the hors d’oeuvres be bite size. Trays and serving materials should be a solid white with clean lines.
It’s clear that the new A3 is going to be a huge deal for Audi. Priced at around $30,000, they expect it to attract a newer, younger clientele, sell in volumes the old hatchback could never muster, and get a new generation of buyers hooked on their brand for a long time to come.
But as Gabe points out in his story, and as other automakers have learned the hard way, this demographic is one that hates to be marketed to, especially in this meticulously researched and targeted sort of way. It’s clearly pandering, and millennials hate being pandered to.
Moreover, I’d wager that not a ton of people in this crowd can afford an A3 or are prepared to throw down that much cash, even if it is priced pretty well.
It’s easy to understand where Audi is coming from on this, though. The Mercedes-Benz CLA has been hugely successful at bringing in new buyers, so Audi wants to do the same with their new entry-level car. And maybe these hipster parties will succeed in spreading the brand awareness they want.
Oh well. I’ll be there if I’m invited, and I’ll bring my skinniest jeans and nicest Uniqlo blazer. But those hors d’oeuvre trays had better be white OR ELSE.
Check out the full story over at Automotive News.
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