Audi Drives Emmy Campaign Featuring Fred Armisen

Audi, the official auto sponsor of the Emmys for the past four years, returns with a campaign starring Fred Armisen that will run on NBCUniversal networks NBC, USA and E!.

The campaign is designed to highlight the Audi Q3 crossover and drive tune in to the award show, which airs on NBC Monday, Aug. 25.

Three spots use the theme “life is more interesting when you go off script” and utilize the ability of Emmy-nominated Armisen, who appears on both NBC’s Late Night with Seth Meyers and IFC’s Portlandia, to improvise characters. Krysten Ritter, J.B. Smoove and Norm Macdonald have cameo appearances in the campaign.

The spots also appear on NBCU digital outlets and use the hashtag #Offscript to generate social media activity.

“Audi is thrilled to be returning as a sponsor of the Television Academy and we are excited to support and recognize television’s top talent,” Loren Angelo, director of marketing for Audi of America, said in a statement. “The brand’s multi-platform collaboration with the Academy and NBCUniversal continues to underscore our long-standing presence within the entertainment industry year after year. We look forward to honoring Hollywood’s brightest stars and introducing the all-new Audi Q3, demonstrating the brand’s devotion to style, technology and performance on television’s biggest night.”

Each cameo actor will star in their own digital video that relates to a specific Emmy category, which will be released via social media in advance of that category’s award during the Emmy telecast.

"Audi knows the importance of event-driven premium video programming, and connecting that with the content we created specifically for real-time social integrations on the day of the Emmy Awards, drives very powerful viewer engagement,” said Sari Feinberg, senior VP, client solutions, advertising sales at NBCUniversal. “This partnership reflects our commitment to deliver a comprehensive creative experience so our advertisers can reach our diverse audiences across all platforms in a meaningful way.”

Last year, Audi’s Emmy campaign featured actress Claire Danes, who had a much better experience driving her Audi to the awards show than in an alternate reality where she took a wayward limo.

Audi is also sponsoring several other Emmy events, including the Governors Ball Sneak Peek Press Preview, which took place in July, the Creative Arts awards on Aug. 16 and the Emmy Red Carpet Rollout press event on Aug. 20.

A fleet of Audi Q3s will be on display at some Television Academy events and will be used to chauffeur some guests.

Jon Lafayette

Jon has been business editor of Broadcasting+Cable since 2010. He focuses on revenue-generating activities, including advertising and distribution, as well as executive intrigue and merger and acquisition activity. Just about any story is fair game, if a dollar sign can make its way into the article. Before B+C, Jon covered the industry for TVWeek, Cable World, Electronic Media, Advertising Age and The New York Post. A native New Yorker, Jon is hiding in plain sight in the suburbs of Chicago.