China’s luxury car market is projected to become the world’s largest by 2020, but reliance on auto dealerships for purchase decisions is a thing of the past. With China’s mobile first economy savvy buyers leverage the information available through all digital channels to research the make and model and are more than willing to purchase a car online.
In an effort to increase brand awareness and promote Audi’s certified resale business, Audi’s’ recent ad by Ogilvy & Mather compared a bride to a used car. The mother-in-law interrupts the ceremony to “inspect” the bride and ensure she’s up-to standard. This advertisement is a part of a broader “know what you’re getting” campaign and was met with backlash from the Chinese audience.
Audi has invested heavily in their Localization strategy by adopting select features relevant to the growing Chinese market like appointment booking, car configurators, model based filters and more. But the key to a localization strategy is meeting the demands of local consumers while streamlining messaging across channels. Audi could pick a few pointers from Scott Galloway’s advice on crisis management and should take ownership of the issue and overcorrect.