William Shakespeare may have been the one to coin that phrase in “The Tempest,” but at Audi of America, the belief all started with a single Instagram post. An almost cartoon-like image filled with ethereal clouds and rainbow-tinted skies. And, out of those clouds rose, perhaps, the most unexpected of mythical beasts – the Audi Q3 #Qnicorn.
Taking inspiration from the Audi “Q3 in :03” marketing campaign, created in collaboration with Gentleman Scholar, the Audi PR team rose to the challenge to prove that unicorns truly exist…they may just come in the form of a compact-premium SUV packed with fresh design and everyday functionality.
Wait. A Qnicorn?
As mentioned, the Audi Q3 #Qnicorn was inspired by an image from a recent marketing campaign created to help launch the all-new Q3 earlier this year. The quirky concept quickly became one of the most-engaged posts on Audi’s social media channels – featured on both Instagram and Facebook. Leveraging this intel – the AoA PR team brought the almost 4,000 lb unicorn to life.
How did they do it? We’ll tell you.
Disclaimer: No Audi Q3s were harmed in the making of the #Qnicorn.
The #Qnicorn was far from a solo performance - employees from the entire organization collaborated to bring the mystical SUV to life. The original image sparked a conversation in the Audi PR team group chat that ignited the idea to bring it to life. Dozens of serious conversations ensued about elements such as horn safety, glitter layering and whether or not a tail should be installed (spoiler alert: it was).
After determining that the Qnicorn had a business case to bring it to life, and the horn could be safely mounted, hilarity ensued throughout the building. Legal urged us to keep the unicorn-SUV-hybrid on social media, while our accessories department instantly put us in touch with the foam-molders, FMS Automotive, who even speed-tested the horn. A local wrap shop applied the pearlescent white vinyl to the Audi Q3 while the team in Herndon scheduled the #Qnicorn’s journey around the holiday weekend.
The horn manufacturer sent images throughout the entire construction process, but nothing could have prepared the team for seeing it in real life. The shimmering three-foot-long horn perfectly captured the essence of the original image, catching all of the light in the room. Paired with the pearlescent wrap, first-looks at the Qnicorn became a surreal experience. The brand’s creative team brought in a fog machine that helped studio photos perfectly capture the essence of the original image.
One horn + four wheels = a city in love
Once the Qnicorn was ready for the streets, the unicorn-themed car inspired a wide range of reactions.
“The love” – Cars and Coffee: it was an early morning for the Qnicorn when it arrived at Cars and Coffee in Falls Church, Virginia, marking its first stop. The concern was how would car enthusiasts react to a premium SUV with a giant unicorn horn on top of it? The response – overwhelmingly positive. The first stop set the tone for the rest of the Qnicorn’s journey and confirmed bringing it to life was the right choice.
“The Confusion” – Washington D.C.: If you were in D.C. during the time the Qnicorn roamed the streets, chances are, you may have spotted its horn. And for those who did, they were not shy to express their sentiment. From surprised looks to confusion, the Qnicorn in D.C. was snap worthy. From toddlers to adults, people were happy to see the Qnicorn and it became apparent as they took pictures, waved, or just shouted at the Qnicorn crew a.k.a. the AoA PR team.
“The smiles” – On a journey to bring some similes, the Qnicorn made its third stop at the Inova Children’s Hospital in Falls Church, Virginia. The Qnicorn, along with its friend, the No Kings wrapped mural-covered Q3, came together at the hospital and parked in front of the entrance, to share unicorn goodies with the children. Even Bartley, the resident dog enjoyed the Qnicorn’s presence…probably the most.
“The surprise” – Last but not least, back home to Audi of America HQ with a twist. Halloween marked the grand finale and end of tour for the Qnicorn, and why not end with a bang? It made a surprise appearance inside the lobby of HQ, being completely visible to anyone who entered the building. Employees were encouraged to take a photo with the infamous Qnicorn, collect treats, and enjoy a good time. All-in-all, sharing the magic with our colleagues was a great way to end the grand tour.
As expected, Legal asked we include the below disclaimer:
“Do not attempt, or drive with props or inappropriate accessories installed. Injury or death can result.”
And friends, that’s a Qnicorn wrap…for now! Take a look at some of our highlight moments: