Russia & Runet

Russia & Runet

BMW vs. Audi: the challenge is now on Russian social media

26 Mar 2014



In this rubric we compare brands’ statistics and digital strategy in the Russian market. Previously we talked about mobile operators in Russia, and Adidas VS. Nike in Russia. 

This time let’s talk about cars, since the most thrilling “brand wars” are often held among the auto companies. And today, it’s all on social media, including the classic challenge between two German giants: Audi and BMW.


Audi and BMW: the never ending challenge

The most famous ads fight is between Audi and BMW, and it is assumed that their aggressive competition began in 2006 with BMW advertising and Audi response:

Audi vs BMW


Actually, the confrontation started back in 1987, with an Audi TV commercial where a car was driving around «boring» BMWs and Mercedes.



BMW vs. Audi in Russia: a question of slogans

These days BMW Russia has a set of slogans that all contain the word “Joy”. But because the translation to Russian “Восторг — это BMW” was not completely correct, today “Joy is BMW” has the meaning of “Delight is BMW” – which might sound good in English, but it makes little sense in Russian. Due to this bad translation, slogans like “Delight expands the boundaries of the possible” and “Delight creates champions” sound quite weird to the Russian audience, to the point that people started calling BMW in general by the word “Восторг” (Delight), with an ironic tone.

Audi gave a reaction immediately by prom-action “We change your delight to Audi A6″. And that was not only a joke, but a real proposal: until the end of July 2013 people could bring a BMW car to  trade-in, get an extra 50,000 rubles and buy a new Audi A6.


Audi Russia


Let’s take a look at BMW’s and Audi’s digital strategy for the Russian market.


BMW Russia on social media

BMW does not have an official community page on VK, but the numbers of unofficial communities and its followers are enormous: the biggest BMW page has over 543,200 followers and publish more than 50 posts a day.


BMW Vkontakte


The level of interactions is also pretty high, for example in average in one hour posts get more than 100 likes and 20 shares:




But we can see that this community is not official not only because it has no verification mark, but also because they are practicing Post Promotion for other brands:


Vkontakte BMW


Other 2 BMW-related communities have over 300 thousand followers (like BMW Official Club) and there are 3 more with over 100 thousand followers (like BMW Drive). In total there are over 1,700,000 users on VK that are actually interested in BMW.

Compared to these numbers, the official BMW page on Facebook (66,200 followers) on BMW Russia Facebook page seems small, yet its quite active.


BMW Facebook


Also, as Instagram becomes more and more popular in Russia, BMW is among the first brand to establish an Russian official presence, with a quite product-centric channel for the local market, counting as of now over 4k followers.


BMW Instagram



Audi Russia on social media

Audi Russia does not have Instagram or Foursquare profiles, and even unofficial VK communities are not as big as BMW’s ones. The two biggest Audi communities (Audi and Audi | АУДИ) have 162,500 and 46,800 followers, compared to the huge BMW’s army of Russian fans.

But Audi is stronger with its Russian Facebook page, that counts 248,200 fans and has good levels of interactions, with an average of over 500 Likes for each post (all in Russian language).


 Audi Facebook




Does this mean Audi is stronger on Facebook?

If we look closer we will see that both BMW and Audi have pretty similar average level of interaction (likes, shares, comments), but BMW has fewer followers. That means that BMW has a higher actual level of interaction compared to Audi overall numbers.

Also, BMW has a more structured digital strategy for the Russian market, also using Instagram and Foursquare as a way to help consumers to an easily find the location of BMW official dealers:


BMW Audi Social Media


BMW Russia’s stronger presence on social media in Russia is also mirrored by numerous unofficial – yet quite popular and constantly growing – communities on VK. A phenomenon that certainly should not be ignored by both brands.

Ekaterina Sivertseva

Ekaterina Sivertseva

Born in Moscow, she has degree in Management from NRU HSE (Moscow) and studied at Cattolica University in Milan. After an experience in a Digital Agency in Moscow, she joined Young Digitals as social media manager.


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