Audi celebrating 40 years of ‘Vorsprung durch Technik’

Article by Christian Andrei, on June 3, 2011

Audi is celebrating the 40th anniversary of ‘Vorsprung durch Technik’ -- the famous slogan which translates as ‘advancement through technology’ and sums up the company’s philosophy ever since the slogan made its debut in a German publicity campaign in 1971.

The motto was first used by the company in its 1983 advertising in the United Kingdom. At that time, the origins of the promising brand were not widely known yet, and thus, Bartle Bogle Hegarty (BBH), London-based advertising agency, realized its potential as a means of emphasizing German engineering integrity and quality.

These days, the motto is not just permanently linked to the brand, as it is also one of the rare foreign phrases to firmly take a hold into the British popular culture. In fact, the motto can be heard from tracks by U2 and Blur to movies like Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels. The classic BBH TV advertisement, which gave rise to this star of screen and sound bite, has made the connection between the iconic Audi quattro and the permanent all-wheel-drive system.

However, the motto is ingrained in the technical leadership and pioneering innovations that the company was already synonymous with long before this point. Audi’s new NSU lineup was so diverse to the point that a unifying brand claim was necessary in order to epitomize what all models had in common.

Specifically, the NSU range included the front-wheel-drive Audi models with 4-cylinder water-cooled engines, the rear-engined, air-cooled NSU 2- and 4-cylinder cars, the aerodynamically wedge-shaped and rotary-engined Ro 80, and the lightweight Audi 100. The ‘Vorsprung durch Technik’ motto united this new range and combined the company’s philosophy in one.

Press Release

AUDI CELEBRATES 40 YEARS OF 'VORSPRUNG DURCH TECHNIK'

Now synonymous phrase reaches its 40th anniversary in 2011 and is just as pertinent as ever

'Vorsprung durch Technik' tagline, which is synonymous with Audi values, was first used by the brand in Germany in 1971
Advertising agency BBH brought the slogan to the brand's UK advertising in 1983

'Vorsprung durch Technik' is 40 years young in 2011, and the sentiment in the famous motto – which translates as 'advancement through technology' – encapsulates the Audi philosophy just as perfectly now as it did way back in 1971.

In that year the famous slogan made its debut in a German publicity campaign. It was first used by Audi in its UK advertising in 1983, and at a time when the origins of the nascent brand weren't widely known here, London-based advertising agency Bartle Bogle Hegarty (BBH) is credited with realising its potential as a means of emphasising German quality and engineering integrity.

Today, it is not only indelibly linked to the brand, but also one of very few 'foreign' phrases to have become firmly ingrained in British popular culture. It can be heard in everything from tracks by Blur and U2 to films such as Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels.

The classic BBH television ad which gave birth to this star of screen and sound bite made the link between the now iconic Audi quattro and the permanent all-wheel-drive system that made it more agile on the road than a glider in the air.

But the phrase is rooted in the pioneering innovations and technical leadership the brand was already synonymous with long before this point.

The newly-formed Audi NSU range was so impressively diverse – it included rear-engined, air-cooled NSU 2- and 4-cylinder cars, front-wheel-drive Audi models with 4-cylinder water-cooled engines, the lightweight Audi 100 and the aerodynamically wedge-shaped and rotary-engined Ro 80 – that a unifying brand claim was needed to epitomise what all models had in common. 'Vorsprung durch Technik' united the new range and summed up the brand's philosophy in one.

The Audi range of today, and tomorrow, is just as deserving of the phrase. It spans virtually every category from city-friendly sub-compact hatchback, via leading edge saloons and Avants, steamlined Sportbacks and agile SUVs through to the world renowned R8 super car. All 32 models in the current line-up are characterised by advanced technology, be it in the construction process as in the lightweight aluminium and steel hybrid-bodied TT or all-aluminium R8, in remarkable engines such as the award-winning 2.5-litre five-cylinder TFSI or in innovative features such as all-LED lighting, head-up displays, MMI with Google mapping functionality and in-car WLAN internet connectivity.

Topics: audi

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