• Apr 29, 2011
Company: BMWa

Brand: BMW

Medium: TV

Ad Agency: Grey West

Product: 2011 5 Series

Campaign: 5 Series "Refuel"

What We Like: The swagger is back at BMW. After more than a year of fooling around with "Joy" as a lead ad positioning, a new marketing team at the German automaker is re-emphasizing "The Ultimate Driving Machine" as the brand's central positioning. The 30-second ad contains what many BMW followers like - a fast car and a big plane. No, the plane, which looks to be a Boeing KC-135 Stratotanker, is not hovering so close to the 5 that it could fill the guy's coffee cup. But the CGI is good enough to pull off the visual trick.

What We Don't Like: Not much at all. Getting a story and message across in a 30-second TV ad is not easy. But BMW and this ad agency, Grey West, did a nice job of conveying a fuel efficiency story.

Strategy: BMW marketing chief Dan Creed, who took over at BMW North America a few months ago, is all about re-affirming "The Ultimate Driving Machine" as Bimmer's main message. At the New York Auto Show, he walked us to the front of BMW's stand to look at a giant rendering of the ad slogan, which dates back to the early 1970s. At last year's show, there was a giant banner that proclaimed "Joy of Driving." "We know there is a lot of joy in driving a BMW, but we are going to show it in pictures and film rather than say it," says Creed.

It's worth noting that as fun as this ad is, the message is about the 5 Series' fuel economy, not the horsepower. BMW is trying to broaden its message to be more inclusive of men and women, as well as tell its story about its investments in the South Carolina plant that produces X3 and X5. But Creed also wants the brand and the cars to show some leg when it comes to marketing and advertising. BMW remains an exciting brand, and a premiere stable of driving machines. That shouldn't be lost when telling the broader story.

BMW is kicking off a review for a new ad agency. It parted ways with Austin-based GSD&M late last year. New York-based Kirshenbaum Bond Senecal + Partners produced last February's Super Bowl ads. Grey West, which has handled BMW's retail and pre-owned advertising since 2008, produced the ad and will presumably get a crack at the whole enchilada.

Grade: A-

Watch the commercial after the jump and give it your own grade below.





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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 32 Comments
      Ak74
      • 3 Years Ago
      Very impressive commercial. I want to see more ads like that.
      RichHobo
      • 3 Years Ago
      @Laxman2001 and SlooPJohnB: seriously guys get yourselves a sense of humor... its called a PARODY of the ferrari ad and a pretty darn good one at that too. clicked play with the same attitude but the coffee thing caught me totally off guard. thumbs up from me, bmw
      Jonathan
      • 3 Years Ago
      Anyone who gave this a "F" needs to get in their Audis and go somewhere were someone will like them (an Audi dealership most likely)
      POV
      • 3 Years Ago
      A nod to this Shell commercial with a Ferrari F1 car? http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QZU1BO2ADgI
      David S.
      • 3 Years Ago
      Mheh. Zero emotion. Cool idea for a coffee ad though.
        SloopJohnB
        • 3 Years Ago
        @David S.
        YES. I should have thought of that....Starbux could use this ad!
      alej469
      • 3 Years Ago
      I love that o-so-natural engine sound...
      Myself
      • 3 Years Ago
      Unsophisticated. Just like BMW drivers.
        Rick
        • 3 Years Ago
        @Myself
        You mean pretentious?
        Evan McMiller
        • 3 Years Ago
        @Myself
        how the hell is this unsophisticated? And, being a BMW driver, why am I? Why don't you drive one first.
      seanleeforever
      • 3 Years Ago
      well 32 mpg is not that impressive... and that's why this commercial fails. there are tons of car on the road get 32 mpg or more that cost a quarter the price BMW is asking for. make no mistake, BMW produce great cars, but this commercial doesn't advertise any of those factors.
        from401
        • 3 Years Ago
        @seanleeforever
        are you serious? Are you really making the argument that the honda fit and toyota yaris are better cars because they're cheaper and get better mpgs? wait...like....seriously? Why are you even on this blog at all?
        • 3 Years Ago
        @seanleeforever
        @from401 totally true.This guy doesn't even know what he's talking about.He should just keep the ignorant comments to himself.
      SloopJohnB
      • 3 Years Ago
      The problem is it's too stupid. As well as improbable...ever try to hold an open bottle of champagne or beer in a windstream, like in a cigarette boat much less a car going 80? Streams out like a main jet in a carburetor (look it up).
        • 3 Years Ago
        @SloopJohnB
        Hes probably just stupid...
        Lucas Maia
        • 3 Years Ago
        @SloopJohnB
        Dunno if trolling or just plain stupid...
      Andre Neves
      • 3 Years Ago
      I gave it a "B". I was going to give it an "A" until they used the "Ultimate Driving Machine" slogan at the end. BMW, you don't use that slogan anymore. Not until you start building them again.
      keivmx
      • 3 Years Ago
      I gotta agree with Andre. BMW has not made an "Ultimate Driving Machine" since the original M3 went out of production. With the recent rise in price of the E30 M3, it means I'm not alone in thinking this. You can't blame BMW for making SUV's and trying to make their cars into a Lexus ES. Most people hate driving and are clueless about cars. Why should they cater to the small group of enthusiasts who make up less than 1% of their potential market? I'm sorry, but I would still rather have an E28.
        Erion Lulashi
        • 3 Years Ago
        @keivmx
        Are you serious???? you dont call bmw's latest M vehicles ultimate driving machines? Forget about the SUV's and look at the e92 M3 and the E60 M5. It doesnt matter whether you personally like them or not, those cars set the benchmarks for their classes. Why do you think that every automaker that comes out with a new performance sedan or coupe has to compare them to the BMWs?
          jackyhan
          • 3 Years Ago
          @Erion Lulashi
          Well a number of European magazines who did comparisons across generations of M cars all seem to agree, that the E60 M5 is not as balanced and well-rounded as the E39 M5, and the E92 M3 is not nearly as precise and sharp as the E30 M3. How do you call these (plus those stupid SUV Ms) ULTIMATE driving machines when they are not even close to their predecessors?
          Erion Lulashi
          • 3 Years Ago
          @Erion Lulashi
          well you cannot compare cars from different generations. Plus, the current M cars were not designed to relate their predecessors. I'm sure if BMW wanted to built a small car with minimal technologies and a powerful engine, like the e30, they could. But, that wouldn't make any sense. They had to design cars with all the current technologies and amenities available in today's market. Dont forget, BMW is not a just a performnace brand like ferrari or lamborghini. They are known for their luxury. So to design a car with all these things and at the end of the day make the car better than its predecessors in every aspect make it a better car in my book. No matter if it isnt as "sharp" as some people consider it.
      • 3 Years Ago
      [blocked]
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