• Aug 7, 2006
BMW has used the tagline "Ultimate Driving Machine" for 31 years. During that time its sales in the U.S. have gone from 15,007 units in 1974 the year before the ad slogan began to 266,200 units in 2005. While producing outstanding automobiles during that time may have something to do with the brand's success, no doubt the tagline is considered one of the best in the automotive biz (See Poll Results: Best Tagline Ever - Battle Royale). Regardless, BMW is dropping the successful phrase and replacing it with "A Company of Ideas".
We're of the if-it-ain't-broke-don't-fix-it camp, and Advertising Age has penned a nice article detailing why corporate culture often likes to change a winning slogan. AdAge also lists some of the monumental failures that have resulted. Hopefully we're wrong and BMW sales won't suffer from the new slogan, but we doubt the public will be able to think of Bimmers as anything but Ultimate Driving Machines for a very long time.

[Source: Advertising Age]


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 53 Comments
      • 8 Years Ago
      Perhaps, the boys from BMW had too much fun at the recent World-Cup in Germany and have used their new found creativity to push through this brainwave!
      • 8 Years Ago
      "A Company of _______ Ideas"

      Fill in the blank:
      Bad
      Dumbass
      Stupid
      Idiotic
      Moronic
      etc.
      • 8 Years Ago
      In two simple words: Brand Dilution.

      Some MBA told someone (as stated above) this will help them expand their market. Right. As the loyalists who have passion about driving, and more importantly, what they drive, flee for the likes of Porsche.

      Love the math: Some untold number of new price-sensitive, low margin customers in, minus core fanatic, high margin, upsold customers out.

      What will that net?

      Not live yet - so watch for our OpEd on this at http://www.AutoBahnShop.com

      Grrrrrrr.
      • 8 Years Ago
      Don't worry, guys. They're not getting rid of it.

      Directly from BMWNA:

      BMW is not dropping the tagline, “The Ultimate Driving Machine.” Unfortunately, an article in Advertising Age which was completely unfounded states that BMW is dropping the tagline. To say that I am utterly disappointed in the writer’s complete lack of fact checking would be an understatement.

      In short, the tagline is alive and well and cherished by the company. We would be fools to drop it.

      Regards,

      Patrick McKenna

      Manager, Marketing Communications
      BMW of North America
        roanokebarry
        • 3 Years Ago
        Patrick McKenna It seems very timely that in 2007 just after the sub frame issue was discovered on the e46 series BMW, that BMW has eased the use of the phrase "Ultimate Driving Machine". I mean if the rear wheels lock up as you are driviing along in a 2002 3 series that has 50k miles on it .....it is not the ultimate driving machine.... and the measly settlement that BMW came up with to supposedly fix this problem is of course a joke.....to have a period of time of 12 months from 9/9/09 to 9/9/10 is unfair to say the least...so if anyone did not bring their affected bmw to the dealer to have it inspected for this issue during this short period they are SOL.....what kind of message does this send ....the message will be don't buy a bmw.... I have owned BMW's for over 30yrs many different models always gave me good service but this issue should be given high priority to put the owners of the vehicles 99-2006 e46 models minds at ease and inspect all the vehicles and if there are no issues put that in the records on that vehicle and a designation sticker on the car that it has been cleared of the sub frame problem.... Until BMW offers this to its customers this issue will continue to fester and boil always be a black mark on the BMW brand....I own two M3s that are affected by this obvious defect..I hope I never have a failure from the subframe but if It does fail it would be hard not to drive it to the dealership with a large lemon on top of it and park it in front for all to see.... Barry Leslie 7549 Palmer Glen Cir Sarasota Fl 34240 phone 941 554 4636
      • 8 Years Ago
      Thank you Chris Bangle for killing yet another great car company.

      The euthanization of the brand image is almost complete...
      • 8 Years Ago
      Stupid stupid stupid.

      Not sure if this timing is coincidental, but...

      Helmut Panke just left his post atop BMW. You think he was broomed in a coup by "new-thinkers" who insisted on a new direction for the company? You think maybe Panke resigned rather than have this "idea" pasted as his epitaph at the company? Panke was a stubborn German, but he sure as sh@t knew what a BMW was. It was the ultimate driving machine. It wasn't an "idea."

      Signed,
      A former 3-series owner who will never walk into a BMW dealership ever again
      • 8 Years Ago
      PERFECT!!! now Mazda can use the tag phrase "ULTIMATE DRIVER'S MACHINE" which really sucks because ZOOM ZOOM is way lot better.

      Good Job BMW...A company of Ideas... what's next a BMW VACCUM CLEANER, BMW Washing Machines (THE ULTIMATE WASHING MACHINE)....

      I lied about MAZDA, but I am sure you all know that.
      • 8 Years Ago
      BMW has lost its focus.... Hello anyone there at BMW that is still awake. IDEAS??? All car companies have flaming ideas....even Proton.

      Ultimate Driving machines means producing a car that people can dream and hope of owning. At the moment they are too ugly, and they have gone too far on the cost cutting of the interior.

      The way a BMW drives is the ONLY aspect left that they do very well...but all else is crook. I think I will move over to Audi till an Ultimate Driving Machine is actually produced again.

      • 8 Years Ago
      I agree, this idea is a really bad idea. Even people who aren't really into cars know that a BMW is "The Ultimate Driving Machine", it's so popular. After 31 years, it still sound fresh and powerful. The new tagline sounds a bit like an oil company. Very vague and boring.
      • 4 Years Ago
      "A Company of Ideas"!? you have got to be freakin kiddin me! all companies have ideas you moron! who's executive's kid came up with that cheesy line? If you want to change your line, it has to be a lot better than "Ultimate Driving Machine" otherwise, stop askin your kids for taglines!
      • 8 Years Ago
      Seems to me that BMW is pushing the whole "independent-company" aspect of operations--I've seen ads on Autoblog all about it as well.

      "A Company of Ideas" is a dumb tagline, but I doubt it's going to stop anyone buying a BMW.
      • 8 Years Ago
      BMW you can have our slogan "We bring good things to life", since we rarely use that anymore to promote our jet engines, electronics, appliances, chemicals, and our other products.

      Use it wisely though.
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