‘50 Shades of Grey’ novel helps Audi sell more cars

Article by Andrew Christian, on August 15, 2012

Audi was mentioned plenty of times in the extremely popular novel trilogy “50 Shades of Grey" but you’d be surprised to know that it was free advertising. Audi had no idea and had not been involved in any negotiations to be featured in the books. Audi’s vehicles (the A3, the R8 Spyder, and the Q7 SUV) were more than trivial mentions too.

They were integral in the narration. Last week, Audi told Advertising Age that its executives were amazed by the buzz that resulted from being cited in the novels. So far, more than 30 million e-book and print copies have been sold in English alone. In fact, book rights have already been sold in many countries. The trilogy is a huge hit among middle-aged females and is one of the quickest-selling paperback books of all time.

But it is nowhere near the likes of J.K. Rowling's blockbuster "Harry Potter" series, which reported sales of more than 400 million copies total. Most readers probably assumed that the author, E.L. James, is a big Audi fan and owns at least one.

It’s shocking that she drives a Mini from BMW while her husband is the owner of a Volkswagen Touareg. The author most likely picked Audi vehicles due to its solid reputation as a high-end, luxury car that’s preferred by those who value design and performance.

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