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.
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.