The Sinister Review

Brief: The brief focused around the central idea of Sinister. The word ‘sinister’ epitomised the message of the ‘cold and intense tone of voice’ of the Audi brand and RS4 model.


  • Boost the Audi brand image
  • Increase the attraction to the A4 and RS4 models
  • Create desire for A4 amongst A4 prospects

Another key objective was to represent the more extreme side of Audi and to create extreme editorial content and environments which promoted the RS4.


Campaign: The Independent went back to Audi with a creative concept that was designed to blend with the paper’s editorial focus whilst enabling Audi to take ownership of the magazine for their brand. The team proposed substituting the title of ‘The Sunday Review’ for the title ‘The Sinister Review’ for one week. Editorial content reflected the key word ‘sinister’ and Audi took sole commercial presence within the magazine.

The Sinister Review included ‘The A-Z of Sinister’; the most sinister people, places and things on the planet. It also included Sinister Travel with Simon Calder and Gardening which featured Venus Fly-Traps and Black Orchids.

Results | Independent Readers and Travel

Pre-and post-research was conducted via the internet using readers of ‘The Independent on Sunday’ sourced via a Global Panel. The pre-survey was followed by a re-contact post survey, thereby allowing full opportunity to track the actual impact of the campaign on the same respondents.

Table 1: The post campaign answers were all more positive than the pre campaign ones.
QUESTIONS Pre (Yes answers) Post (Yes answers)
Have Audi recently launched interesting models? 38% 43%
Do Audi make well styled models? 69% 73%
Is Audi a prestige make? 72% 77%
Is it fun to drive? 47% 57%
Do Audi make good performance cars? 74% 77%
Is Audi a desirable brand? 64% 69%
Do Audi make cars you want to be seen in? 55% 57%
A Reader Comment:

“Audi and The Independent share some obvious customer expectations for being reliable, dependable, under-stated and more concerned with substance than style (without sacrificing style in its place)”


“The Sinister Review achieved its creative objective of providing ‘extreme editorial content”, an opinion shared by readers, journalists and the client.

Simon Hosannah
Independent News & Media Group
020 7005 2137