Thursday, February 28, 2013

Transporter 3 and the Audi A8


As you might have noticed, the popularity of Audi has dramatically increased in the past five to ten years. But, Audi hasn’t always had the positive image it has today. Most people can remember when Audi went through accusations of acceleration problems in one of their most popular models. Over 700 hundred deaths were said to have been caused by Audis produced from the 1980s. This negative stigma and ethos haunted Audi from the late 1990s to the early 2000s with sales at record lows. Audi needed to make a change. After countless design renovations, in the mid 2000s they finally nailed a sleek and sexy body style that exceeded all safety tests. Audi decided to make a big comeback and teamed up with the movie Transporter 3 showcasing their newly redesigned Audi A8. The plot of each Transporter movie involves Jason Statham driving an awesome car, completing the designated task, and avoiding all danger thrown his way. Audi has had a negative ethos for years but the use in Transporter 3 shows just how far they have come and how highly people think of Audi now.

So what does this movie let us know about Audi? For starters, it beats the competition. The Mercedes E class is the closest competitor to Audi in luxury sedans. In the epic car chase scene, the Mercedes is no match for the Audi, further suggesting its superiority. The whole movie seems like an extended Audi commercial with close ups on the logo and showing flashy technological features in the new A8. The movie suggests that the Audi A8 can off road, drive on two wheels between two eighteen-wheelers, and reach speeds of up to 220 km/hr. Oh and apparently it’s also bulletproof. Now I’m fairly certain it can’t do any of these things, but it sure looked cool when Jason Statham did it. In Everything’s an Argument, Andrea Lunsford claims, “A more obvious way to build an emotional tie is simply to help readers identify with the experiences,” (Lunsford 34). This one scene alone could have earned Audi several millions dollars and thousands of potential clients. Had the car not been able to out perform the Mercedes, both the main characters would have died. But because the Audi was able to reach top speeds while still maintaining stability, the bad guys were the ones who died. This might subliminally suggest to viewers that the good guys drive Audis and the bad guys drive Mercedes. All of these elements are affecting viewers’ pathos and convincing them to love the car. Lunsford states: “placement and advertising for certain products and brands is an extremely strong argument in itself” (Lunsford 328). By placing the Audi A8 in plain view for the majority of the movie, Transporter 3 is making an argument for the car. The argument is simple: buy the car, live the same adventurous lifestyle.

The use of the Audi A8 in Transporter 3 definitely benefitted both parties. The movie gets to use another awesome car, which helps add to the appeal of their movie. Audi is definitely benefitting from the use of their A8 because people will want to say they own the car from Transporter 3. The use of the car affects viewers emotions making them want to own the car. Majority of the movie is spent inside that car connecting the characters to the Audi. For Audi to benefit, the endorsement in Transporter 3 needed to appeal to viewers’ logos. For example, if you buy the new Audi A8 you will look just as awesome as Frank Martin (played by Jason Statham) does driving it (IMDb). The movie could stand without the A8 and could easily be replaced with a different car, yet they chose this car because like the main character Frank, the Audi A8 is practical yet adventurous and sophisticated. The Audi A8’s use in Transporter 3 appeals to viewers’ ethos, pathos and logos. Every time the car is driven or seen is another attempt at persuading the viewers to go out and buy the car. This movie earns 3 out of 3 tickets for excellent use of a product endorsement.

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