BMW Launches Vignettes For 3 Series
by Karl Greenberg, Yesterday, 3:21 PM
BMW is launching the sixth generation of its 3 Series in part with six playful digital shorts, two of which will air during the Super Bowl in specific U.S. markets. The videos are meant to illustrate specific new technologies in the car and how they address specific customer issues, but in a humorous way.
The videos to air during the Super Bowl in the New York tri-state area, Southern California-Los Angeles, Atlanta and Houston areas tout the car’s heated steering wheel and in-vehicle communications, albeit in humorous ways. The first shows a bunch of people getting into a 3 Series car on a cold day. The driving moans in pleasure and the other passengers look at him oddly. Then they all suddenly grab the steering wheel to get some of what he’s getting. The ad, obviously, touts the heated steering wheel.
The other spot has a guy rolling up to his house in the car, when he gets a text-to-voice message through the car’s BMW Connected Drive feature that his mother-in-law is there. He immediately backs up as another message comes in. “Honey, Where the F…. (the car honks) are you going?”
Another of the spots demos how a driver and his much-taller companion can share the driver’s seat thanks to driver’s seat memory. A fourth demonstrates the no-hands rear trunk release. A woman with packages in her hands strolls out to her car, and opens the trunk by extending her foot beneath the sensor under the bumper. As she leaves her dog does the same thing to get a squeeze toy. The videos all conclude with the voiceover, “We only make one thing: the Ultimate Driving Machine.”
The ads are on BMWUSA.com but also on the automaker’s new YouTube channel. The shorts start airing Feb. 7 online at additional sites including NBC.com, ABC.com and Hulu.
The global campaign launching this month via Interone, Munich includes print and TV and includes a pitch for the hybrid model BMW ActiveHybrid 3, which rolls into the market this fall. The campaign goes back to BMW’s core identity around performance-car passion. There’s also a competitive theme to the ad text, which uses “versus” as a central motif, as in “Grip vs. Rain.” TV uses the Olympic Stadium, and biathlete Natalie Björndalen, and Billy Idol’s “Dancing with myself” as score.
The automaker’s last big consumer marketing program in the U.S. was in November, and tied into the premier of the latest Mission: Impossible film. The automaker had a sizable presence in the film. That effort included what the Woodcliff Lake, N.J., automaker called a “self-destructing” sales offer and special screenings of the film for customers as well as the i8 concept and the 6 Series convertible driven by the Ethan Hunt character.
BMW North America launched a cross-the-board agency review last spring, and for the time being is using New York-based Kirshenbaum Bond Senecal + Partners on a project basis. BMW revealed the sixth generation 3 Series to reporters last fall at its huge Munich plant where the car is built. The company made it a global event through a live-streaming element on social-media channels. Meanwhile, fifth generation car is going out with a bang. BMW of North America sold 6,698 3 Series cars in January, a 16.2% increase versus January last year.