The third generation of the Audi TT was the first model to feature a digital display or “Virtual Cockpit.” To teach customers about this feature, Audi developed an augmented brochure that allowed customers to experience it firsthand rather than just reading about it. It did this with the Audi TT Brochure Hack. Customers could place their phones directly on the brochure to transform their screens into a Virtual Cockpit. By turning an informative brochure into a storytelling platform, Audi brought customers one step closer to driving the Audi TT.
Objective and Context:
The third generation of the Audi TT was the first model to feature a digital display or “Virtual Cockpit.” This was the main product point for the new model. Audi wanted to appeal to customers’ progressive nature and inspire them with this feature. However, providing a premium, innovative experience would be a challenge using the conventional sales brochure, which was still the main sales tool for millions of Audi buyers.
Audi turned this challenge into an opportunity to showcase the features of the Virtual Cockpit using interaction, storytelling, and technology. It did this by developing an augmented brochure. This tech-enabled brochure allowed customers to experience the Virtual Cockpit rather than just reading about it. It closed the gap between the virtual and physical worlds in a way that delivered real value to customers and transformed how the brand engaged with them using experiential direct marketing.
The Audi TT Brochure Hack was a limited edition printed brochure mailed to prospects in the Audi Customer Database. It was mailed only to loyal Audi TT owners who were looking to upgrade and who also fit the TT profile of being young, tech-savvy, and having a high disposable income.
The brochure highlighted the main communication feature of the new Audi TT: the Virtual Cockpit. It also communicated Audi’s core brand promise of “Vorsprung durch Technik,” or Progress through Technology, in a classic format.
Overall Campaign Execution:
Audi had not done anything like this before. It was a pilot idea that was set to be rolled out to future models featuring the Virtual Cockpit.
The Audi TT Brochure Hack was an innovative direct marketing initiative with a pure mobile focus that brought a unique digital experience to the physical world. Using conductive print, Audi turned the page into a smart surface. Customers could place their phones directly on the brochure to transform their screens into a Virtual Cockpit. Touching the hot spots on the page let them navigate every aspect of the display. An embedded Bluetooth chip delivered a seamless experience between the brochure and the phone. Customers could also configure the car and request a test drive.
The Audi TT Brochure Hack was the first of its kind in the automotive sector. Eighty-two percent of recipients opted in for the full experience. Since this was a pilot project, very few consumers received access to the brochure. However, over one million media impressions were generated through online buzz and PR. Audi posted the case film on its Facebook channel, which received thousands of likes and shares and more than 100,000 views. The augmented brochure went global, and was even featured on TV in Thailand.