AKQA has managed to retain its Audi digital business following a lengthy review process. Audi is also currently looking for a separate agency entirely to handle its social media business, as the company looks to further modernise its marketing efforts. AKQA has been Audi's official digital agency of record since 2011, when it took the work from the independent, Denver, Colorado-based Factory Design Labs. AKQA's digital work for Audi has spanned all digital marketing and web development for the German automobile manufacturer, which has been a majority owned subsidiary of Volkswagen since the 1960's. AKQA's most notable engagement for the brand was the launch of AudiUSA.com last summer, but it's also worked on numerous mobile and app-based campaigns. Huge were tapped to handle the business in May last year, and Audi have used additional agency partners like MediaCom (also owned by WPP) and the Interpublic PR shop PMK/BNG for various digital and social content efforts.
AKQA's digital work for Audi has spanned all digital marketing and web development for the German automobile manufacturer
The pitch saw the WPP owned AKQA facing off against agencies such as the Interpublic Group's Huge and Hearst's iCrossing as part of a routine process that the company undertakes every few years. Mark Del Rosso, executive vice president and chief operating officer at Audi of America, said the digital shop has been delivering “Exceptional and award-winning digital campaigns” for them since 2011, which have “Pushed the boundaries of innovation through online marketing and content development.” This success was obviously a major contributing factor in Audi's decision to keep the agency on board, and Del Rosso is “Looking forward to continued great success” with them. Simon Jefferson, managing director of AKQA, added “The collaboration between Audi and AKQA has consistently delivered pioneering innovation with industry-leading performance.” He says they are both honoured and delighted to continue their partnership as it “provides the framework to increase the Audi lead with the most advanced digital experiences that stimulate and inspire drivers.”
AKQA on how Audi uses mobile to engage
In related news, AKQA recently discussed the creation of a new “Mobile Experience” for the Universal Orlando Resort, which has been designed to “Make having fun easy.” AKQA's director of client services Chip Gross reasoned that the resort, which comprises two gigantic theme parks; Universal Studios Orlando and Universal's Islands of Adventure, as well as a comprehensive entertainment and dining complex (CityWalk) and four hotels, can be daunting for first time visitors to navigate. The bespoke app, created by his team, was created in just 16 weeks, and boils the functionality down into key areas such rider wait times and park navigation using major landmarks as guidance points.
AKQA recently discussed the creation of a new “Mobile Experience” for the Universal Orlando Resort, which has been designed to “Make having fun easy.”
Chris Crayner, senior vice president of integrated media and digital at NBC Universal, said that by partnering with AKQA they had leveraged “The best of mobile to build a common infrastructure that was navigation-based and scalable.” The idea was for the app to simplify the user's visit rather than creating another distraction, and AKQA consulted with various park operators, attraction designers and marketing experts at Universal to help guarantee the app was fit for purpose. Greg Renner, senior director of digital marketing at Universal Orlando, said the app also functioned as an extension of the Universal Orlando website, which acts as a planning tool for guests. AKQA and NBC Universal are also planning for the future, with more comprehensive ecommerce functionality and accessibility in the pipeline for future updates.
Benjamin Hiorns is a freelance writer from Kidderminster in the UK who was seriously overwhelmed by the sheer vastness of Universal Orlando when he visited as a child. Never had that problem at Alton Towers.