An Elvis-like doll with a gyrating pelvis has become a cult sensation in Germany. Audi hoped to extol the virtues of its new automatic transmission in a television ad in which an Audi driver picks up an Elvis impersonator. The impersonator puts the doll on the dashboard, and the car shifts so smoothly the figure doesn't even dance.
But instead of receiving the anticipated inquiries about the transmission, Audi was flooded with questions about the toy. "Naturally we didn't expect it," said Audi spokesman Joachim Cordshagen. "It was a big surprise."
Demand has grown so large since the ads first were broadcast a few months ago that Audi has begun selling the ornaments for about $7 each. The company had received 150,000 orders as of this week, and expects the number to top 200,000. Audi has set up a telephone hot line to take orders, and is limiting customers to 10 dolls each. "This puppet has reached a cult status," Cordshagen said. Audi stresses that the ornament isn't supposed to be Elvis, but only representative of the "rock 'n' roll times." That doesn't seem to matter to buyers. Last Wednesday, hundreds lined up at the Audi shop in Ingolstadt after a shipment arrived. The 2,000 dashboard ornaments sold out in 90 minutes.
Source: Reuters / Updated: Jun 26, 2001