[interview] Guillaume Jolit, program manager, myAudi and partnerships for Iron Man 3

Super-heroes are also the electric car ! In any case, Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr), when he is not in armor of the super-hero moves in an Audi R8 e-tron, a prototype electric and flagship of the German brand. Audi has worked from the first installment of Iron Man with Marvel to promote their vehicles through the film ; this is not only with IM they resort to product placement but with many other films (Transporter 2 & 3, Hitman, Mobiüs, etc.).

The release of the highly anticipated Iron Man 3 was therefore the opportunity for Audi to highlight their cutting-edge technology with a super hero also in the forefront. The Blog of the film has met with Guillaume Jolit, responsible for client events of the German mark, to tell us about the partnership Audi-Marvel in the third installment of the series.

Why did you choose Iron Man instead of another super-hero to represent the higher end of the mark on the rings ?

For one main reason, which is that of the avant-garde technology. In fact, Iron Man, unlike other super-hero is not endowed with powers due to a genetic transformation, but the technology present in his armor. And just like Audi, Iron Man develops by its avant-garde image of new technologies, new materials to make his armour. This is why we recognize ourselves in this character, since we also are developing technologies, I think for example of the LED lights or aluminum chassis.

So there are real similarities between the technological values of Iron Man and Audi, which are the avant-garde technology and the vow of innovation. This is the main reason why we are investing in the product placement in Iron Man.

What is the impact on your statistics of sales of such collaboration ?

Today, it is impossible to calculate the impact of such investments and this is not the main reason why we do this kind of collaboration. The aim of our company is of course to sell cars, but here, it is to communicate our values, which we talked about by other means than advertising of our products. We are interested, therefore, to the cinema which is an art that opens up perspectives on other network. It is, therefore, to take the floor on a territory a little bit new, which is not the one you usually use, and who offers us another opportunity to speak to our customers.

Contrary to the advertisement, the cinema is an active approach. Let me explain, we do not have the approach of looking at an advertisement, but we did watch a movie. The report is not the same. The viewer has an active approach in relation to what he sees, and it is an advertisement that has more impact on the customers. In addition, contrary to the advertisement which offers a world of fantasy around the product that it promoted, in the cinema our product is fully integrated with the reality of the film. In Iron Man, Tony Stark makes the R8 e-tron a real use. Incorporating this product to the fact, that the performance of the car are real, it is something that is difficult to create with the codes of advertising.

Are you going to sell the R8 e-tron ?

Not for the moment we have no dates of marketing, the R8 e-tron is now a prototype. This isn’t a problem since the prototype has the aim to develop new technologies that we will use in our next products. The R8 e-tron has an engine 100% electric, which allows our engineers to work a lot on energy management, so that our next cars will be more efficient, in particular for the air conditioning, heating, etc

What is the cost of manufacture of the Audi R8 e-tron ?

Today I would say that it has no price since this is a prototype, it has a value that is not a market value.The manufacturing cost of such a car is priceless because it is necessary to take into account the materials that are used, the teams of engineers who work on it, etc

We know that Audi has done several collaborations for the cinema, do you have other project ?

With Marvel, there are no other projects currently. It should be noted that these investment products are managed by Audi AG, the parent company. It was not meant to have the monopoly on the territory of super-heroes. The super-hero which seems to be the most coherent with our values is Iron Man and we will not go in search of others.

As for the cinema in general, things are done even if we are not on the same level of visibility as with Iron Man. It was a collaboration for the new film by Claude Lelouch, the Bastard! with Johnny Halliday and Eddy Mitchell. In 2012, we made the product placement in the Capital by Costa-Gavras, and in Möbius by Eric Rochant. Currently, we do not contract on big films like Iron Man. We try to work with filmmakers in the middle of the cinema. Lelouch, Costa-Gavras or Rochant are not necessarily of the directors who are going to make big scores at the box office, but they have a great image, and as they realize a film usually these are appreciated. Today we are more interested to make a film that will have a good recognition by the critics, our approach is more directed toward the qualitative. However, we shall never go to a movie that offers to use our cars for criminals or giving a bad image of our brand.

Iron Man, unlike other superheroes, is not endowed with powers due to a genetic transformation, but the technology present in his armor.

Iron Man made a dramatic entrance, in a weekend, it is on the point of dethroning the Avengers, which is in third place of the biggest box office behind Avatar and Titanic. You’ve seen the movie, are you satisfied of the image that passes Shane Black of Audi ?

Quite. What is for sure is that the product placement in this movie is fairly well centered. The goal is not to pay simply a car and see how long it will be filmed. The production and Audi are working with contracts very strict and here we are very pleased with the image conveyed in the film. The image is not degraded, the association of characters is still evident and strong. In addition, works very well. In France, he has passed the bar of 3.5 million spectators, to give you an idea, the Avengers had reached 4.5 million viewers.

At the level of the news of the partnership Audi-Marvel, was there any information on upcoming projects ?

All of this is happening at the level of Audi AG, but I know that filming for Avengers 2 will begin shortly, and discussions are underway for an Iron Man 4. With the success of the three previous episodes, it is logical to continue this collaboration.

Pepper Potts (Gwyneth Paltrow) has not been left to one side as she drives a Audi S7 Sportback, the car enhancing its character since it is a model very popular.

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