Is Audi a four letter word?

Audi TT Munich Ingolstadt Germany

Is Audi a four letter word?

I don’t think so. VW have put the Audi account up for pitch after being with Bartle Bogle Hegarty since it was founded in 1982. The impact on the brand from the work coming out of BBH in that time is almost immeasurable although everyone is into measuring everything now, except me. If you’re a nerd unlike me you can go and find all the amazing stats on the results.
Much like BBH’s first ad for Levis the black sheep, I’ve always been left field of the main stream and still am, I say nothing lasts for ever. BBH made Audi, Audi made BBH, time to move on. With adland changing beyond all recognition it makes it even less surprising.
There’s a lot of angry people commenting on this news, I’m not one of them. Audi was the single most significant period in my very long career, and Audi filled almost a third of that. Here’s the full article in Campaign.
It was back in 1997 when I flew out to Munich to visit the Audi factory in Ingolstadt. My small team were lucky enough to be amongst the world’s first people to see the brand new super cool Audi TT. It came out at a time when there were precious few genuinely cool yet affordable quality sports cars. Now they’re everywhere, we’re spoilt.
I was given a TT for the afternoon with my account man and we put it though its paces on the country roads around Ingolstadt which was a lot of fun. My account guy managed to ding an alloy rim on the curb and asked me to keep quiet. I did, until now. And now he’s a well know CEO of a very large global network. We had other sojourns together, one where we stayed in a pink and green hotel in Southern Ireland for the launch of the Audi A3. But that’s another story. We shot this the countryside around Ingolstadt near the factory (which by the way was very impressive), obviously shot pre digital, wanted a Man Ray solarisation style this shot was for direct mail but I also used it for the range brochure shoot. This shot is a scan from the print that’s been in my loft ever since the TT was launched.

Audi TT Ingolstadt Germany

From 1995 to 1998 I was doing a lot of below the like work on Audi for BBH mostly direct mail and print design work, some radio and national press ads plus the odd 48 sheet billboard, I was picking up awards, it was lots of fun. It wasn’t until 1999 that I started making online, national and global TV work but that’s another future blogpost story. I left BBH after 11 years to work on many other car accounts such as Land Rover, Jaguar, Ford, Nissan, Fiat and Alfa Romeo. But I’m not a one trick pony I do do other work, so far I’ve worked on 70 global brands. More recently I’ve worked on two electric car briefs and of course this is where the TT’s future lies. I prefer a good old fashioned petrol engine though.

Audi TT

I find myself writing the last para in Starbucks and a blue TT rolls up, haha. Maybe I’ll eventually get myself one who knows. Just like cars, client accounts eventually move on. And I’m positive about it, it was such a pleasure making some of the most iconic work that made Audi so cool and famous, not to mention more successful as a brand.

More Dave Trott magic

If you haven’t seen this yet now’s your chance. Just classic Trott, a masterclass in advertising fundamentals, sadly often forgotten. The bit where someone gives him some paper is key.

Ben Fennell’s BBH departure.

Another great account man leaves BBH. I remember Ben well, although we didn’t work together that much, he was one of many great account people BBH seemed to attract and then train up in the best way possible. A rare thing and almost a prerequisite for selling great work to clients. No easy tasks. It’s a good move Ben and well timed.


This could be my most important post ever. And something I’m very passionate about. Not following the herd. Luckily it set me in good stead at BBH with their Zig when the world Zags line. Sadly the control the media in general and group think have over us is just as great if not greater than in previous decades. Please be aware of this and take everything with a pinch of salt. Don’t always go with the herd, think for yourself and don’t become a pawn of very sinister powers.


More common sense and truth from one of adland’s creative legends, keep it up Trotty.

Ego and greed. They aren’t only attributed to individuals.

The creative business of advertising and marketing need more people like Carl Johnson of Anomaly. They speak cold, hard truths instead of all the usual waffle.

Freelance rates rising sharply.

Here’s an interesting article. What you do is freelance for a few months then go surfing in Costa Rica. Well ‘you only live once’ as they say.

Apple’s new iPhone ad

I like this spot for Apple’s iPhone portrait mode, fun, stylish and a great track. It was a winner at the ADC Awards at New York’s One Club.

Important lessons in brand communication

Important lessons in brand communication

Sad news about the death of veteran David Bernstein, founder of The Creative Business and an ad industry commentator. Here’s a great piece all about risk. Can you risk not watching it? Some wonderful insights and accents. Enjoy.

Aaron Draplin

Designer Aaron Draplin

I first found this guy around 2 years ago. I wanted to post about him again, he’s such a refreshing thing to the cookie cutter, digital stuff that’s everywhere now. He really reminds me of how were were back at art college. I’ve always had a retro liking myself, I don’t call it vintage. For 30yrs I’ve collected 1930s 40s 50s American radios. So much nostalgia from an awesome era.