Oops! Did Audi just fake customers in its video?

As brands focus more and more on content, are they coming under pressure to put out regular content even at the cost of authenticity?

Yesterday, Audi put up a video on its Facebook page showing how it surprised its customers with a special ride in its Audi R8 V10 Plus.

Audi claimed that customers who came to service their cars were given a surprise ride in the Audi R8 V10 Plus. All the customers were shown looking delighted.

However, Marketing understands that some of these were not actual customers, but executives from Audi’s agency partners Publicis and MediaCom.

For example, executives such as senior digital manager at MediaCom Singapore Tony Mounayar and account director at Publicis Singapore Sidhaesh Subrah were spotted in the video. Marketing understands at least Mounayar is not an actual Audi owner. Subrah could not be reached to verify whether he is an actual customer.

When asked, Anna Bory, general manager, marketing, Audi, said “the customer in the R8 video gave permission to be used in the promotional video. We cannot and will not provide any customer data due to the current PDPA.

“The video was merely to demonstrate a service that is currently being offered at the Audi Service Centre. The R8 chauffeur drive video, is part of a bigger customer delight initiative where we have surprised more than 200 customers since December 2013 with a chauffeured experience in the Audi A8, R8 and RS4. Customers are picked at random to enjoy the chauffeur service,” she said.

Bory added that the activation was still ongoing. Neither agency answered Marketing‘s requests for comments at the time of publishing.

One reader wrote to Marketing anonymously, saying: “Is this what content marketing is all about? Faking stories and experiences? Misleading people and giving them false hopes?”

What are your thoughts? Share them with us.




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