The Situation

Audi has enjoyed an impressive, continuous track record of luxury car sales over the last decade. To continue this growth, the company determined it would need to conquest sales for its certified pre-owned vehicles from Asian non-luxury brands. The challenge was attracting customers to Audi Certified pre-owned when its vehicles were several thousand dollars higher in price.

The Strategy

LABOV created a blind competitive comparison event that permitted consumers to experience Asian products as well as Audi CPO vehicles. During the comparison, consumers did not know they were driving and experiencing a used Audi model.

The Finished Product

The You be the Judge event was a four-hour ultimate car experience, allowing consumers to compare competitive cars on the track, the road and in the classroom (comparing warranties, safety features, etc.), as well as conduct static comparisons of exterior and interior design, cargo capacity and more. Throughout the event, consumers documented their perceptions, which were shown to change throughout the experience and concluded in a most astonishing way.

The Result

At the beginning of the event, consumers saw the Audi vehicles they drove as desirable, but believed they were too expensive and not a great value compared to the Asian models. Throughout the experience, however, perceptions of Audi value, safety and design rose dramatically. At the conclusion, consumers were asked which car they would most like to own—Audi won. Yet, it was not the car they would most likely purchase due to price. After it was revealed the Audi model consumers drove was a CPO, with a warranty and price the same or less than the Asian models, consumers were asked again which car they would most likely purchase. Their answer was Audi CPO, hands-down. After the event, this product was packaged as a direct mail consumer campaign and exceeded sales projections at dealerships, and interestingly, resulted sales of Audi vehicles.