By Andrew Eklund | September 13, 2011
Have you seen the 2012 Audi R8? No? Do you want to? Here.
Now that’s just a ridiculous car. It looks fast. I’ve never owned an Audi, but if I did, I’d hope it was the R8. I’d get a lot of speeding tickets. I mean, how could you not? “I’m sorry, officer. You see, I’m driving this car. You understand, right?”
How do I know about the R8? I saw one in a Target parking lot the other day. I didn’t see a TV commercial or hear a radio spot for a weekend “sales event.” (Really? An event? An event is something special, not something that happens every damn weekend.)
I didn’t know the car existed until I saw it, and it was extraordinary. When I got home I wanted to know more so I went to the Web site and began drooling. Then I Googled “what’s the R8 like to drive?” I really did. I wonder if the search engine specialists have optimized content for that phrase. I came upon several reviews from auto magazine Web sites like Autoweek.
Then I thought, “What’s it really like to drive?” I determined then and there that if I ever found another one in a Target parking lot, I would sit in my car and wait until the owner exited the store with his $300 toothbrush—I mean, that’s all he intended to buy in the first place—and walk up and say, “I’m sorry to bother you, but seriously, man. What’s it like to drive that car?” And you know what? I bet we’d spend the next 20 minutes talking about what it’s really like to drive that car. At that very moment, I will have moved from a non-believer to a total, complete believer. I believe in the Audi R8.
So what happened here? Was that advertising? Was that marketing? Or was that simply a car manufacturer making a product so extraordinary that its owner can’t wait to talk about it? Perhaps I shouldn’t have used this example. Fact is, we’re not all Audi R8s. That toothbrush is not an Audi R8, and I seriously doubt if anyone has ever said, “Hey, how do you like that toothbrush? Can I take yours for a test drive?” But many of you truly do lead extraordinary brands, and when you do, you have an incredible opportunity at your finger tips that allows you to harness the tipping-point power of advocacy.