I've been giving the keynote at a couple of interactive automotive advertising conferences over the past month — trying to give the auto ad folks a perspective from the editorial side of what's going on out here on the internet. One of the things I harp on is how it seems some advertising companies are creating creative and have absolutely no idea what's going on once the creative hits the online media. Don't get me wrong, there's a lot of ad agencies who do "get it." But today I've got yet another proof for my theory that auto ad agencies are lagging behind the public relations curve — and it comes to us from the venerable ad agency of Venables Bell. They're the folks who we gently ribbed over their attempt to brand Audi as being the automaker that uses technology to enhance driving, not by getting in the way of the driver. If you'll remember, they did that by requiring their viewer to awkwardly use gimmicky DVR technology to view their 15-second GE advertising campaign rip-off commercial. So, how clueless are they about the internet? Almost six hours after I ran that post I received the following e-mail from Audi's new ad company:

Subject: New Audi TT Commercial Date: Tue, May 8, 2007 at 7:49 PM From: XXXXX XXXXX To: tips @ jalopnik.com

For their first Audi USA TV commercials, agency Venables Bell & Partners created two :15 spots for the new TT roadster and its faster dual clutch gearbox. It's one of the first times that DVR technology will be used as media. To experience this TV spot on your DVR/TiVo, press "pause" and then tap "fast forward" frame-by-frame. www.tt-truth.com

Glad to see someone was paying attention to the site before they sent that. Money well spent Audi, money well spent.

Related:
Audi Eschews Gadgets and Doohickeys for Gizmos To NOT Confuse You [internal]