05/13/2013 05:13 pm ET Updated Jul 13, 2013

Star Trek and Car Wars: Creative Content and Social Media -- 'Spock v Spock'

It is not only Star Trek fans who are enjoying the latest video and viral advertisement for Audi where Zachary Quinto, who plays Spock in the latest Star Trek films, and Leonard Nimoy, the original Spock, engage in one the funniest ads of the year.

Content marketers and viral marketers also marvel at the direct approach yet "subtle message" from Audi.

The video begins with Quinto and Nimoy playing chess. Nimoy wins and a new "Golf challenge" is set. Moving away from the movie puns and promotion -- Quinto has an enjoyable ride to the golf course in his 2013 Audi S7. However, Nimoy's journey is vastly different in his Mercedes.

Personally -- I liked the way, in one sequence, that the golf clubs would not fit in the Mercedes. Now that's not good for today's modern lifestyle is it? Subtle enough?

The Automotive Industry -- Social and Viral Strategies

In terms of how brands engage with audiences via social, viral and video channels marketers, in other sectors, can learn a lot from the Auto sector and its use of content and social/viral media adoption.

For example, on social media platforms such as Google+ the auto sector, as early adopters, lead the way in terms of brand engagement. Research from tech company BrightEdge indicates that the top 100 brands on Google+ now boast 20.9 million fans and of this the auto industry accounts for 40 percent of the top 10 spots for followers on Google+. BMW leads the way with over 2.2 million followers.

Google also has published statistics on this below. Note the absence of Audi on Google+

The path to purchase in the automotive sector is very social and hence creative content, video and viral promotions are a perfect fit for brands looking to engage with wider audiences. Consumers can get advice from connections and brands whilst the auto brands are using social and viral marketing in a number of innovative ways. In this case direct comparisons with the competition are becoming the norm.

Google provide a useful infographic on the Auto sector and Google+ here.

In the "Spock v Spock" viral Audi has targeted Mercedes-Benz. In the past it has played clever with its content marketing against BMW (another leader on social channels such as Google+).

From traditional billboard campaigns to social, viral and integrated on and offline campaigns social and viral media is proving to be a key driver in user engagement in this sector.

As the "Car Wars" (apologies, Trekkies) continue online I will leave you with a few other examples of related, competitive, content that simply made me smile. Why?, because its engaging.