It’s alright – you won’t have to admit to reading your significant other’s copy of “50 Shades of Grey” around here; but if you have, chances are you’re aware that Audi is mentioned in the book trilogy. And now, the German automaker believes it has had an indirect effect on its sales.
In a world where companies are paying top dollars for product placement, Audi was never approached to be in the novels, nor did they ask to be in them. And funny enough, author E.L. James doesn’t even own an Audi – she drives a MINI. But that didn’t stop her from using the automaker’s high-end, luxury models throughout the books, including references to the Audi R8, an Audi SUV, and Audi A3.
So has it really impacted sales? Of course no one knows for sure – we highly doubt dealerships are asking their customers where they heard about Audi. But during a period where Audi is seeing record sales figures, it certainly hasn’t hurt the brand. The books have been estimated to have sold over 30 million e-book and print copies in English alone, mostly targeted towards middle-aged women. But hey, they’re car buyers too aren’t they?
It’s also worth mentioning that a Saab 9-3 is also referenced in the novels, but unfortunately that clearly didn’t come in time to help save the now bankrupt automaker. The big question is now that “50 Shades of Grey” has gotten a Hollywood movie deal, will Audi have to pony up some money to be part of the big screen adaptation?
[Source: Automotive News]