Filed under: Marketing/Advertising
"Happiness isn't around the corner. Happiness IS
the corner." So said an ad for BMW created in 1996 for the Z3. In the TV version (see the video at the very bottom after the break
), a heavy-metal music track underlined the idea, which was carried over to magazines and billboards.
I'm reminded of that ad, one of the more perfect expressions of the BMW brand I have ever seen, this week as I take in the Bavarian automaker's plan to launch vehicles powered by "alternative" powertrains under the "i" sub-brand: as in, yes, iPad, iPod, iMac. So far, I'm not hearing about Apple filing trademark infractions. It is, I believe, also "i" as i Isetta
, the last time BMW brought out a mini city car. "I" for innovation probably figures into the choice, as well.
The campaign was literally meant to attract more people who were not necessarily driving enthusiasts to the brand.
BMW has brand issues. Take the Super Bowl on Feb. 6. BMW ran two ads
in the big game for a cost of between $5 and $6 million. One ad was to push diesel engines. Another was to push the fact that all X3
crossovers are now being built at BMW's plant in South Carolina. "Designed in America. Built in America," says the voiceover at the end of this ad. How about using the big game to push the core of your brand equity - driving excitement. How about an ad that says: "aspire to own and drive this marvelous machine."
Something has gone horribly wrong at BMW. And I think I know what it is. Back in 2006, then- BMW marketing director Jack Pitney
(who tragically died in 2010) shared with me a Powerpoint strategy showing how far too many people, in his mind, weren't considering a BMW because they were intimidated or otherwise put off by the performance image of the brand. It was this finding that led BMW to first do a corporate ad campaign touting BMW's independent ownership, and then the softer "Joy of Driving" campaign that ran most of last year. It was literally meant to advance a "softer side" of BMW, and attract more people who were not necessarily driving enthusiasts to the brand.
Continue reading...Continue reading Opinion: Is BMW becoming too soft?
Opinion: Is BMW becoming too soft?
originally appeared on Autoblog
on Wed, 09 Mar 2011 17:29:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds
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