Audi drives to product placement agency

German automaker teams up with Iconic Entertainment

Audi, which has been able to boost its profile with a series of successful product placements, like the “Iron Man” franchise, has tapped Iconic Entertainment to handle such deals.

The German automaker hasn’t had an entertainment marketing agency since Propaganda GEM dropped Audi last year for BMW (Daily Variety, Nov. 23, 2009).

Culver City, Calif.-based Iconic, which calls itself a “branded integration” agency, was formed by former Propaganda exec Arden Doss, with Sara Dean, who drove many of Audi’s high-profile deals, like its tie-ups with the “Iron Man” pics “I, Robot” and “The Transporter.”

Iconic will look for opportunities in films, TV shows, videogames, music videos and digital platforms that can exploit Audi’s brand and vehicles, backed by PR and promotions.”We selected Iconic Entertainment based on their staffs’ product placement experience, relationship network and creative approach,” said Florian Zitzlsperger, head of brand partnerships for Audi. Naturally, the company’s familiarity with Doss didn’t hurt either.

Iconic will report directly to Kai Mensing, responsible for global product placement and branded entertainment at Audi, in Ingolstadt, Germany.

“Our brand integration efforts have helped Audi become one of the hottest luxury brands in the States,” said Scott Keogh, chief marketing officer for Audi of America. “Alongside Iconic’s innovative team, we look forward to continuing our momentum in this dynamic film, television and new media landscape.”

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