When is an idea not an idea?

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I went on a bit recently about the new Audi TV spot and its lack of an idea. After reading the new Audi “launch” print ad, I can confirm that there is, indeed, an idea in the new Goodby Berlin and Partners advertising. “Truth in Engineering.”  And if your care to spend a few minutes, you can find hints of the idea in the ad in today’s Wall Street Journal
 
I say hints, but maybe I should say clues. You see, the two page contains copy that is so pasted together, in such a haphazard method, that the “true” true engineering story is left untold. The agency and client try to tell the whole story in a long copy format, and unfortunately tell none.  
 
There are probably five great ads in this one average ad. Real engineering stories are hinted at, but they are buried and glossed over.  Proof of an idea, demonstrations of an idea, are what makes compelling selling stories, not recitation of lists.  The writer needed to do more research and develop each engineering truth, not topline it.  Mercedes actually had a great fractional campaign on this strategy – articulating the little engineering feats that made a Mercedes a Mercedes — but those ads, too, were under-researched and scantily written. Finding the “idea” in marketing and advertising is hard. But delivering on the idea is where brands are built.