In the quest to find new alternatives to mainstream print and television media, BMW has taken its famed online movies concept to its next logical step: podcasting. As with the aforementioned Internet shorts, the German automaker isn't simply presenting informational media... it has paired up with publisher Random House and a number of notable authors to create audiobooks featuring the automaker's wares.

The automaker's novel [ahem] product placement will feature at least four authors: Don Winslow (Beautiful Ride), James Flint (Master of the Storm), Simon Kernick (The Debt), and Karin Slaughter (Cold Cold Heart), with the stories being released biweekly over the next two months. The first podcast, Winslow's tale centers on a down on his luck Gold Coast businessman who loses everything in a failed IPO, but keeps his BMW. The protagonist's Z4 convertible is featured (less-than-subtly) in the course of the 50-minute story, while subsequent episodes will highlight the 1-Series, 7-Series, and X3.

BMW hopes that the WCRS ad-agency conception will play well with MP3-enabled consumers who have grown tired of mainstream marketing ploys, and enjoy similar success to their critically-acclaimed short movie series.



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