Audi's latest marketing trick is a car ad with no soundtrack or driving

Audi breaks with the musical tradition of its marketing campaigns in a new ad that has no soundtrack.

The spot by Bartle Bogle Hegarty London shows Audi’s RS 4 Avant resting in a garage after a fast drive, evoking a thoroughbred after a race. As the camera pans around the car, the only sounds are of it cooling down after the engine has been turned off – the engine fan hissing, the brake pads sizzling. 

Audi typically features covers of classic songs in its ads, such as Stephen Sondheim’s Send in the Clowns for last year’s "Clowns". This is the first of its ads in many years to have no soundtrack. 

"Cooling down" also differs from most car advertising for its lack of driving shots and high-speed action.

The ad will debut on TV during Premier League football matches tomorrow on Sky Sports and BT Sports and during Channel 4’s SAS: Who Dares Win on 21 January. It will also run in cinemas using Dolby ATMOS 3D sound to amplify the engine’s ambient noise, and be accompanied by digital and static billboards and social media.

The work was created by Vinny Olimpio and Uche Ezugwu at BBH, and directed by Dan DiFelice through Pulse Films. PHD handled media planning and buying.

"‘Cooling down’ is a brutally simple product demo designed to cut through the clutter of complicated comms in an ad break," said BBH executive creative director Ian Heartfield. "The menacing good looks of a stationary RS 4, and the sound it makes when the engine is turned off, is all we need to imply a message of awesome performance."