Vorsprung Durch Technic

Since the 1980s, Audi have been using the catchphrase ‘vorsprung durch technik’ in their advertisments. It is usually translated into English as ‘progress through technology’,  capitalizing on the German reputation for technical expertise.

But it was advertising execeutive Sir John Hegarty who coined the phrase for the advertisments. He is a descendant of one Jeremiah Hegarty, known in Millstreet as ‘The Landlord’ who had large business enterprises here in the late 19th century into the early 20th century. Jeremiah’s name is given to Hegarty Street (above the AIB), where he had a creamery, and where he built the houses for his workers. See the video below where John talks about how the phrase came about:

Hegarty is also responsible for that Levi 501 advert from the 80s that got everyone wearing jeans:


Sir John Hegarty (wiki)

Audi (1982) – Vorsprung Durch Technik

Vorsprung durch Technik – ad slogan that changed how we saw Germany

Man behind Audi ad campaign markets vegetables to children

Doing the right thing: an interview with Sir John Hegarty

Video: Meet the Author: Sir John Hegarty on creativity in advertising

The Hegarty Street sign, across from the AIB


– with thanks to Fred O’Connor for telling us about this interesting piece.

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