February 9, 2021
German automaker Audi has tapped actor Tom Hardy for the newest episode of its ongoing film series on advancing visions ahead of the world premiere of the e-tron GT.
Mr. Hardy’s film is the latest in “A Story of Progress” series from Audi. The series features actors, brand ambassadors, designers and other experts who are actively asking how they, in their work and professional lives, can make the world better and more sustainable for future generations.
“The campaign is trying to frame Audi's pursuit of electric vehicle development as a noble cause and that when a consumer buys an electric Audi, they too are acting for the greater good,” said David Undercoffler, editor in chief of Autolist, San Francisco. “Both the owner and the maker of that sedan have good intentions that go beyond themselves.”
The newest “A Story of Progress” episode opens with Mr. Hardy discussing how humans are inherently flawed. What differentiates people however is their willingness to strive to be better.
Mr. Hardy then notes the importance of people having noble pursuits to make the world a better place. He says individuals should always be evolving and anticipating how to be better.
Highsnobiety's Herbert Hoffman for Audi's "A Story of Progress" series
“If one is passionate and committed in the noble pursuit of excellence within their chosen field be that the arts, technology, science, humanitarianism [or] conservationism, then I would say one has a moral obligation and an ethical duty to be of service and to always strive to be part of the solution and not the problem,” Mr. Hardy says. “After all, it’s a world that our children will inherit.”
In the film, Mr. Hardy discusses prioritizing passion and one’s personal attempts to make the world better. Mr. Hardy discusses how he has changed his way of thinking from how the world can best fit his needs to how he can best fit the world’s needs.
“Passion, action [and] noble intention creates progress,” he says. “Passion creates progress.”
Themes of passion, accountability and purpose permeate throughout the video series. Speakers include Herbert Hoffman, creative director and head of buying at Highsnobiety; Marc Lichte, head of design at Audi; Lukas Bossert, entrepreneur and founder of sustainable, natural products and others.
Each speaker is exhibiting a dedication to their field and the hope that their work leads to improvement.
“In today's age, corporate responsibility is increasingly important,” said Julie Blackley, communications manager at iSeeCars, Boston. “Consumers are drawn to brands that champion social and environmental causes that align with their values.
“This video is shot in the same style and has the same central theme about the importance of progress,” she says. “Whether it is about car design or social change, we should always be trying to strive for excellence.”
Each video in the series ends with an invitation to the world premiere of the Audi e-tron GT on Feb. 9 and a display of the hashtag #FutureIsAnAttitude.
Looking back in order to look forward
Audi, similar to other luxury brands, is using its past to inform its future. The brand wants to lean from its missteps in order to best position itself for future success.
Brands are also actively trying to balance planning for the future and remembering that mistakes are not always forgotten.
Audi’s parent company Volkswagen Group is heightening sustainability in its company, hoping to combat a negative image after its emissions scandal. In 2019, Volkswagen implemented a new program in which it will rate the sustainability of its suppliers worldwide (see story).
Sustainability continues to be a priority at the forefront for brands and consumers.
As brands adapt to a new normal, they should prioritize health and safety, sustainability and environmentally friendly initiatives, and brand purpose, while maintaining a focus on the customer journey, according to Euromonitor International (see story).
Audi has been centering sustainability for some time. In particular, Audi’s first electric vehicle, the e-tron, has been the centerpiece of major marketing campaigns (see story).
Brands are continuing to provide meaningful storytelling and representation while inherently addressing the fact that the past is not to be forgotten.
“It's worth noting that the message of imperfection, humility and the constant pursuit of bettering oneself is likely a subtle nod to the global ‘Dieselgate’ scandal that rocked Audi and its parent company Volkswagen Group several years ago; the repercussions of which it is still dealing with today,” Autolist’s Mr. Undercoffler said. “It shouldn’t be forgotten that the brands shattered the public's trust in them and did real environmental and economic harm to every region where its cheating diesels were sold.”