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Audi Heads to Space With a Stirring Super Bowl Ad Set to David Bowie's 'Starman'


Audi unleashed its 2016 Super Bowl ad on Wednesday, and it's destined to have one of the most talked-about soundtracks of any commercial on the game—"Starman," the 1972 track by David Bowie, who died last month at age 69.

The classic Ziggy Stardust song was enjoying a renaissance even before Bowie's death. It was played in full during a sequence of Ridley Scott's space film The Martian. And Bernie Sanders has been using it on the campaign trail.

The song brings great energy to the Audi spot, too, which tells the story of a retired astronaut who rediscovers his passion for life—and powerful machines—when his son lets him drive the 2017 Audi R8 V10 Plus.

Venables Bell & Partners created the ad, directed by MJZ's Craig Gillespie. It will run in the first quarter of Sunday's game. Audi released a :60 as well as an extended :90 (above) online Wednesday morning. 

The 2017 R8 is the fastest and most powerful Audi ever made, the brand says, with a top speed of 205 mph and a zero-to-60 acceleration of 3.2 seconds. That's not quite rocket speed, but it gives the spot its aspirational hook, expressed as a space theme. 

This is Audi's eighth Super Bowl ad, and the second to feature the R8. 

• For more Super Bowl 50 news, check out Adweek's Super Bowl Ad Tracker, an up-to-date list of the brands running Super Bowl spots and the agencies involved in creating them.

Client: Audi of America
Agency: Venables Bell & Partners
Executive Creative Director: Will McGinness
Creative Directors: Tyler Hampton, Erich Pfeifer
Senior Art Director: Rich North
Copywriters: Rus Chao, Paul Venables
Director of Integrated Production: Craig Allen
Agency Executive Producer: Mandi Holdorf
Production Company: MJZ
Director: Craig Gillespie
Director of Photography: Masanobu Takayangi
Executive Producer: Emma Wilcockson
Producer: Martha Davis
Editing Company: Final Cut Editorial
Editor: Rick Russell
Colorist: Stefan Sonnenfeld, CO3
Music Company: Agoraphone
Featured Song: "Starman" by David Bowie.
Music Supervisor: Dawn Sutter Madell
Sound Design: 740 Sound Design
Executive Producer: Scott Ganary
Sound Design Producer: Jeff Martin
Lead Sound Designers: Chris Pinkston, Rob Marshall:
Final Mix : Formosa
Mix Engineer: John Bolen
Visual Effects: The Mill
Visual Effects Producer: Ben Sposato
Visual Effects Supervisor: Gareth Parr
Head of Account Management: David Corns
Account Director: Chris Bergen
Account Supervisors: Ally Humpherys, Alexis Lovett
Account Managers: Oliver Glenn, Faire Davidson
Assistant Account Manager: Bri Jones
Project Manager: Talya Fisher

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