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Sir Paul the Car Salesman
By: Tom Roarty
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Sure, all car owners have decent arguments on why their vehicles are cool, but in case there was any question as to how cool, Open Road VW/Audi dealership at 802 11th Ave. in New York found a way to set the bar with the help of none other than Paul McCartney. As part of Sir Paul’s promotion for his latest album, “New,” the New York-based car dealership worked out a unique cross-promotion with rock royalty.
Imagine sitting in a new car, windows rolled down, listening to Paul McCartney on the radio. For seasoned McCartney fans such as myself, listening to MACCA in this fashion was once the most popular way to crank his music, but with changing times, listening to FM radio is not as hip as it once was thanks to digital downloads. Still, this promotion captured something special: nostalgia.

This was McCartney’s first body of new work in six years, which is enough to get fans excited, but to turn the excitement into potential sales dollars for the dealership was brilliant. Finding unique ways to get people into cars has not always been an easy task for the industry. This promotion offers some much-needed creativity into the world of auto advertising.
Open Road VW/Audi offered two listening sessions for the event on the roof of its dealership in “New”-themed cars to commemorate the album. Each of the two sessions were open to the first 100 attendees, which was a little different approach than the West Coast had in regard to its auto-related listening party.
Los Angeles-based Vineland Drive-In in City of Industry, Calif., had its own version of the “New” listening party by inviting the first 400 automobiles to enter the venue to hear McCartney’s latest work on the Drive-In’s FM transmitter. Although the L.A. event was not tied to an auto-sales promotion, the event gave those 400 people the chance to listen to the former Beatle’s new work the way he intended it to be: behind the wheel with the windows down. Plus, each attendee received a commemorative poster.
So what does the artist think of the promotion? On his website, McCartney said, “I love listening to music in the car…It’s like listening with a huge pair of headphones! You’re in there, and the sound is wrapped around you…It’s great.” Sir Paul’s latest album “New” will be released on Oct. 15.


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