Audi's unintentional product placement in Fifty Shades of Gray
Have you read Fifty Shades of Grey? I haven’t. Yet. But I might, just because there were 40 million copies of the series sold worldwide and I’m curious what all the fuss is about.
Fifty Shades of Grey is a 2011 erotic novel by British author E. L. James (aka Erika Leonard). The story is set in Seattle and traces the relationship between a college graduate, Anastasia Steele, and a wealthy young businessman, Christian Grey. It includes explicitly erotic scenes featuring bondage, discipline, dominance, submission, sadism and masochism. The book is the first part of the trilogy and is followed by Fifty Shades Darker and Fifty Shades Freed.
Critical reception to Fifty Shades of Grey has been mixed and the book got labeled as “mummy porn”, due to its demographics. The book’s
main fan base consists of married women over thirty, teenage girls and college women.
A few days ago I read some news reports about Audi’s involvement in the Fifty Shades trilogy. But for me the most interesting question is: will Audi feature heavily in the upcoming movie adaptation of Fifty Shades of Grey?
Why exactly is that question interesting? Well, Fifty Shades of Grey could be one of the most exciting movie projects of 2013 or 2014, purely from entertainment point of view (the cast and release date is still unknown). It will almost certainly get loads of media coverage and debates all over social media.
Let’s check how Audi featured in Fifty Shades of Grey [possible spoilers].
The book is written in the first person and lead character Anastasia drives a VW Beetle: it’s mentioned 20 times. She also borrowed her friend’s Mercedes CLK roadster. Both (Mercedes and CLK) are mentioned twice.
Anastasia’s friend Christian is a big Audi fan. Audi is mentioned 16 times and his entire car park consists of different Audi models. Perfect for Audi and the upcoming movie adaptation.
And Anastasia got another Audi as a birthday present.
Here are some of Audi’s cars mentioned in the book.
Reports suggest that Audi didn’t influence E.L. James to include their cars in the book and admitted that they were a bit surprised. But will we see them in the movie? Universal and Focus Features bought the rights to Ms. James’ trilogy for $5 million. Advertising Age reports that Ms. James has said it’s too early for casting, but the most likely one to get a role at this point is Audi.
I must admit that I’m really looking forward to Fifty Shades of Grey the movie, but at the moment purely for marketing reasons ;)