UPDATE: Check out our full photo gallery from the event, including shots of supermodel Marisa Miller, actors Hugh Jackman, Ashton Kutcher, Demi Moore, and Justin Timberlake.
If you needed proof that the Super Bowl is as much about commerce, celebrity and culture as it is about sport, you didn’t have to look any further than the multiple Audi Forum parties thrown this week at the art-heavy Preston Hollow manse of Cindy and Howard Rachofsky. Audi of America selected the couple’s super-modern estate to showcase its redesigned A8 sedan, which will be featured in one of tonight’s much-hyped Super Bowl TV commercials. Then it summoned some A-list celebs to reinforce the message that German-made Audi is luxurious, “progressive,” modern and cool. Just like … the Rachofsky digs.
Audi’s been associated with the Super Bowl for several years because it’s a “fantastic platform” to extend the car’s identity in this country as an “aspirational luxury brand,” said Johan de Nysschen, president of Audi of America, on Thursday night. All around him the monied Dallas art crowd–Kenny Goss and his sister-in-law JoyceÂ Goss; Jennifer and John Eagle; Gina and Scott Ginsburg; Jaap van Zweden and entourage–were chatting and drinking and noshing, surrounded by the spectacular modern art the Rachofskys prefer. While Audi is the No. 1 luxury make in Europe, de Nysschen (pictured) went on, it’s outsold in the U.S. by Lexus, BMW and Mercedes. Thus the push to reach a mass TV audience through the Super Bowl–and via the brand’s association with mega-watt celebrities like Hugh Jackman, Justin Timberlake, Demi Moore and Ashton Kutcher, all of whom would show up at the Rachofsky place the next night.
One after another on Friday evening, the Tinseltown crowd swept into a “media room” not far from the noisy partygoers to give interviews, and to testify why they loved them some Audi cars. Between questions about their current projects and, oh yeah, Super Bowl XLV, the celebs gushed all over the upscale automaker. Chord Overstreet from Glee (pictured) revealed that he drove an Audi S5 for awhile, adding: “I really want it.” Timberlake swore his fealty to the brand, and so did Jackman and Kutcher. Meanwhile De Nysschen crept into the media room while Kutcher was talking and made a joke, and everybody in the place cracked up. The next night Johan would leave for a big national car-dealer meeting in San Francisco, where he’d continue the effort to sell Audi as progressive and luxurious and modern and cool.