• Feb 7, 2011
BMW Super Bowl Ad - Click above to watch the videos after the jump

BMW was one of the few companies to keep its Super Bowl advertising plans to itself until kick off time, but the Roundel came to the game packing two 30-second spots. The company said it wanted to get two messages across to Americans: that its diesels are cleaner and more powerful than ever and that the German manufacturer is continuing to invest in America even as the economy struggles to recover. In order to make that happen, BMW enlisted the vocal talents of actor Chris Pine (of Star Trek fame) for the two spots. Pine is now the official voice of BMW advertising here in the States.

The first ad is clearly aimed at distinguishing the 335d from the American perception of diesel – sluggish old Volvo wagons, rough-idling Mercedes-Benz sedans and soot-spewing trucks and busses. The second ad focuses on the company's efforts in Spartanburg, South Carolina, including producing every X3 on the planet. Hit the jump to check out both spots as well as the full press release.

[Source: BMW]




Show full PR text
BMW Returned to the Super Bowl Broadcast Tonight With Two Clear Messages for America

WOODCLIFF LAKE, N.J., Feb. 6, 2011

BMW returned to the Super Bowl broadcast tonight after a 10-year hiatus, unveiling a strategy that forcefully communicates two competitive advantages of BMW.

The first commercial is a poignant piece focusing on BMW's economic commitment in America as told through the voices of the company's associates at its manufacturing facility in South Carolina. The second commercial uses humor to showcase BMW Advanced Diesel vehicles as a cleaner, efficient alternative to other types of vehicles.

"We have two clear messages we would like millions of Americans watching the Super Bowl to know about BMW," said Dan Creed, Vice President, Marketing, BMW of North America. "Even in the depths of the recession, BMW continued to invest in America, and as the global benchmark for clean diesel technology, we're challenging stereotypes to show our advanced diesels are part of the future."

Both these messages will be carried through BMW's marketing efforts throughout the year. The Super Bowl advertisements also mark the debut of actor Chris Pine from Star Trek in 2009 and Unstoppable in 2010 as the voice of BMW.

The commercial underscoring BMW's commitment in America, dubbed Defying Logic, showcases the company as a significant contributor to the economy and a vital part of the American automobile manufacturing industry. It was filmed in BMW's Spartanburg, South Carolina manufacturing facility where all BMW X3, X5 and X6 vehicles are produced and exported to 130 markets worldwide. The advertisement features the new BMW X3 vehicle, which was also designed in America and offers consumers 10 million unique configuration options.

Instead of actors, real-life BMW associates and citizens of the local community, including the Spartanburg High School football team, are featured in the commercial. In the ads, real plant associates note that during the height of the recession, BMW intensified its commitment to U.S. manufacturing with a $750 million plant expansion, as part of an overall $1 billion investment in its U.S. operations. BMW Group's direct and indirect employment in America is more than 50,000 jobs.

Changes, the second commercial, takes a playful jab at America's misperceptions of diesel and highlights BMW's Advanced Diesel vehicles as a cleaner, high-performance, efficient alternative. The ad, set to David Bowie's iconic melody "Changes," depicts a truck driver bellowing black smoke, an older-model diesel vehicle sputtering up a hill, and pedestrians surrounded by clouds of filthy exhaust. In the spot, the BMW 3 Series Advanced Diesel makes a grand entrance highlighting its smooth, clean, efficient performance and powers away leaving them all in its dust.

The Super Bowl is one of the world's most televised sporting events, reaching more than 100 million viewers in one night. BMW last advertised in the national broadcast of the Super Bowl in 2000. Both commercials aired in the second quarter and can be viewed on BMWUSANews.com, Facebook.com/BMWUSA, and YouTube.com/BMWUSA.
Video commentary from Trudy Hardy, Manager, Marketing Communications and Consumer Events, BMW of North America, will also be available on BMWUSANews.com.

BMW is also running an interactive contest on Facebook tied to the BMW X3 Commitment in America Super Bowl advertisement. The contest, dubbed "The X3 Matchup," gives viewers the opportunity to guess the configuration of the BMW X3 featured in the advertisement for a chance to win a Grand Prize two-year lease on the vehicle. In addition, the winner will receive a trip for two to BMW's Spartanburg manufacturing facility to pick up their vehicle and attend a two-day performance driving school at the BMW Performance Center. BMW fans can enter on the BMW USA Facebook page (Facebook.com/BMWUSA) through Thursday, February 10.

The commercials were developed by kirshenbaum bond senecal + partners, the media buy was coordinated by UM and the online components were created by Dotglu.


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  • 40 Comments
      • 3 Years Ago
      Funny thing is the Volvo had an Audi engine back in those days.. German engineering!
      • 3 Years Ago
      diesel spot is quite funny and nicely done.. once again, challenging the old perception.

      x3 spot? Nice except the ugly x3.
      • 3 Years Ago
      Is it just me but is there a wee-bit of smoke following the BMW as it passes the wagon at the end of the video?
        • 3 Years Ago
        Yeah ..... tyre smoke.
        • 3 Years Ago
        I noticed that as well. But the point still stands - it's a vast improvement, even if they're only to the level of the dirtiest gasoline cars.
      • 3 Years Ago
      Yeah that's a stretch, but not only that, to the "average" BMW driver, having America roots might be seen as a negative. People buy these cars because of their European heritage and autobahn breeding.

      VW is also playing up their Americaness (even more so actually), and I think its going to bite them in the butt.
      • 3 Years Ago
      Diesel 335 was a excellent ad, it showed what Americans think diesel is like - and BMW showed how fun modern diesels are in reality...

      Kudos to them, Audi should be embarrassed - their TDi engines should have similar marketing...
      • 3 Years Ago
      Diesel, Good, American roots, no one is buying that
      • 3 Years Ago
      It is surprising how many people in America still don't know about, consider, or understand modern diesel tech (much less have something try to fly in the face of their "perceptions"). I guess we all have a leg up in that we follow the industry closely, so I can't blame the average car buyer, but it is still shocking to me. Case and point, discussion with a friend about buying a new car led me to suggest a TDI vehicle or 335d. Spent the next 20 mins explaining that diesels don't just go in trucks anymore. I hope more commercial spots like this will begin to chip away at this.
        • 3 Years Ago
        Maybe BMW could bring a 120d 3- and 5-door hatchback and position it to compete against the Lexus CT. That way, they have a unique diesel-only, high MPG, halo-car. Also, it would make me VERY happy!
        • 3 Years Ago
        I can't blame your friend... the average consumer only knows diesels through big commercial trucks... so how else would they know about them in car applications??

        If they saw a diesel Mercedes or VW (at least the newer ones) on the road, they wouldn't even know that it was diesel so they wouldn't know how clean/quiet they are.

        None of the domestic car makers do diesel cars, and neither do any of the Japanese makes. (OK, there might be 1 or 2, but they are so rare, that even I can't think of them).

        Sure, consumers should take some of the blame for their lack of knowledge, but honestly the manufacturers should take the majority of the blame for this knowledge-gap for simply not advertising or promoting it.
        This BMW commercial is a rare exception.
        • 3 Years Ago
        Hazdaz, I agree completely. I think the mention you made about seeing one on the road and not knowing what it is also raises an interesting point about the general knowledge that these things even exist is way down. I'm thankful, however, that they do not resemble most space-pod hybrids in the way in which they are styled and that they are then a little easier on the eyes. Even if it means that visibility is down. An interesting dilemma. Style it to stand out (presumably polarizing), or make it match existing shapes and pump the ads with fingers crossed?
      • 3 Years Ago
      My 11 year old F-350 powerstroke turbo diesel is proof enough to me. It is the most dependable vehicle I have ever owned including my Toyotas and Hondas. The Germans have the leading products and they managed to get them into the US through the oil lobby somehow. I would love to buy the Ford diesel cars sold everywhere but here, and it is frustrating!
      • 3 Years Ago
      I have a 335d. First off its easy to get one less than 50k, with eco-credit (3500) and tax rebate (900). I average 27 city and 37-40 highway. I did 300 miles at 75 and the car returned 36.8 mpg. Oh and the car puts a smile on your face everytime you drive it.
      • 3 Years Ago
      The problem with the 335d (other than the price being too high) is that there is no manual available. I'm a big fan of BMWs, always have been, but their autos suck almost as much as their manuals are incredible.
        • 3 Years Ago
        @JonL: correct on both counts. The 335's ZF 6A is among the best in the industry. And the 328 gets a GM-sourced unit from France that is ok but not nearly the quality of the ZF trans.
        • 3 Years Ago
        The reason there is no manual is because BMW doesn't currently have a manual in its stable that can handle 425 ft.-lbs of torque.
        • 3 Years Ago
        Have you driven the bmw zf 6 speed auto? Its actually quite nice, quick upshifts, fast response from the paddles, smooth rev matched downshifts. If you've driven a 328 it doesn't count btw, its a different gearbox IIRC, and less smooth, although still not horrible.
      • 3 Years Ago
      A comment on the second commercial:

      If anyone from an advertising or commercial creating company is reading this, I'm sick to death / sick to death / sick to death of all the commercials / commercials / commercials that have / have / have this editing that finishes the last person's sentence / the last person's sentence / the last person's sentence. It is done ad nauseum now, pardon the pun. Just like when the 'overexposure / brighten the end of the shot / 'Losing My Religion' commercials plagued television advertising. Oh wait, they still do. And ~50 edits in 30 seconds? No wonder every other kid has ADHD.

      Are there studies that show this drills the message into our heads or something? Because this is what I do: Change the channel / change the channel / skip it with the PVR.
      • 3 Years Ago
      I hate to tell BMW but years after their current diesels cars are crushed those old MB diesels will still be around.
        • 3 Years Ago
        I've driven a W210 diesel and it was a POS. I'm pretty sure the newer tech in the 335d is not only be more efficient, it'll outlast the benz.
        • 3 Years Ago
        Im not talking about the newer benz's. Im talking about the old w123's.

        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mercedes-Benz_W123
        • 3 Years Ago
        Those old diesel Benz are freaking tanks! I have a friend that their family has 4 and the newest one is an '85 and they all run wonderfully. Today the Germans have great mechanical engineering and great ideas for luxury, but they can't master the reliability of their freaking electronics!! Nothing will ever go wrong with the motor, but your windows will stop rolling down in 2 years.
        • 3 Years Ago
        @ Vettro07

        Thats rediculous!




        It will be atleast 5 years and a day, or at 50,001 miles, once the warranty is out, or if its a CPO car add 2 years or 50k more.

        Also i didn't consider all of the new emissions crap, i was thinking more from a longevity point for the actual drivetrain.
        • 3 Years Ago
        1. You don't really have much factual to base this one for the new cars (because they are new)

        2. Your probably right though.

        However, i'll take performance (13 sec 1/4 times, vs 13 second 0-60 times) over the insane durability of those. BMW gas engines hold up pretty well, i'm sure a well maintained diesel will last for longer than neccesary if probably cared for.
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