Nissan


Audi’s Godfather-themed Super Bowl commercial

Audi AG is revving up its image as the new luxury auto brand through a high-budgeted Super Bowl commercial.

The first Big Game ad of the Volkswagen-owned automaker in two decades will be featuring the new R8. The said ad utilizes a send-up iconic scene from The Godfather to poke fun, without naming names, at luxury auto rivals, reported USA Today.

The German automaker will be competing with several rivals in the auto industry for attention in the game. General Motors Corp., Toyota Motor Corp. and Hyundai Motors are in the game. Additionally, Nissan Motor Corp. and other automakers are acquiring ‘spot’ ads in individual markets.

Venables Bell & Partners in San Francisco, the advertising company behind Audi’s ad, took that into account. “The fact that people don’t pay attention to auto ads unless they are in the market for a car is exactly the ammunition we used to do something different and provocative,” said Paul Venables, the agency founder and co-creative director. “We have this slow, methodical open; it’s eerie and not a gag a minute. The light bulb is going to go off that it’s The Godfather. All those things contribute to a pause that’s going to deliver an entertaining story and brand message.”

Audi paid Paramount Pictures a licensing fee that it would describe only as ranging from $500,000 to $1.5 million.

Who will get to see Audi’s ad first? According to reports, the lucky ones are the registered users of the automaker’s official Web site. The ad will be e-mailed to approximately 35,000 registered users of audi.com on Super Bowl morning.

Audi, to note, is already etching a positive standing in the industry. In 2007, global sales of the automakers surged 6.5 percent from the previous year to 964,000. Additionally, the limited production of the R8 for this year is already sold out. Moreover, the automaker hopes its Super Bowl ad will make its image shine even brighter at the same time drive more gains to its coffers.

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Toyota’s new safety equipment showed the participants composed of journalists on how it detects unusual driving behaviors like drunkenness and drowsiness.

The new Toyota facility measures 4.5 meter long and 7.1 meter wide that can be installed in any vehicle model. The simulator is lined on the inside with a screen showing a moving, wrap-around view of the outside environment that gives the driver and his passengers the chimera of traveling.

Toyota’s product has the longest range of 35 meters from front to back and 20 meters from right to left says Toyota engineers.

“It still needs some fine tuning, but we aim to start putting it to use in earnest from next April,” said Takashi Yonekawa, a senior staff engineer at the centre.

The project was completed in September and until the demonstration, Toyota never allowed reporters into the pod. The pod can also be seen via a glass pane in an adjacent room. Although the pod was not moving, the moving images which are a true-to life depiction of 64 km of road in a 6-square kilometer section of the surrounding area, it was almost real that the spectators felt nauseous.

On the same demonstration, Toyota also introduced another safety technology based on Intelligent Transport Systems (ITS). This equipment uses global positioning system receivers and sensors which give way to communication between cars and road infrastructure, pedestrians or other cars to reduce collisions.

Also, according to Toyota Managing Officer Takashi Shigematsu, their domestic rivals, Honda Motor Co. and Nissan Motor Co. are working on the same equipment. The three largest automakers are expecting to test their products next year.

Auto safety equipments are now the added spice to which automakers appeal to their consumers. Toyota Motor Corp. is taking it seriously and on the lead in the safety race. Last year, the biggest Japanese automaker equipped its Lexus LS460 with a pedestrian detection system.