Bmw Case Study (Marketing)
A marketer’s vision is to deliver a message so gripping that everyone who sees it passes it along to their friends, increasing the brands recognition, sales and bottom line. So, how do you make your marketing campaign “viral”? How do you get 2 million people to register to your company website? Let’s look at one of the largest luxury car brands to learn how. One of the first viral marketing campaigns that came to mind for this assignment was the BMW short films. The BMW short films were launched in 2002 as part of a large BMW marketing campaign.
BMW, the “Ultimate Driving Machine” became the ultimate interactive marketing campaign through BMW Films. Traditionally, BMW had always supported the release of a new vehicle with an advertising campaign designed to reinforce the brand promise of delivering the world’s most exciting luxury cars. But in 2000, BMW had a window of opportunity when it could do something purely for the sake of branding without the release of a new vehicle, to deliver a unique message in an increasingly packed out luxury/performance car market. BMW knew that the average work-hard, play-hard customer was 46 years old, with a median income of about $150,000.
Two-thirds were male, married, and had no children. As BMW sliced and diced its market further, an interesting statistic surfaced: “Roughly 85% of BMW purchasers used the Internet before purchasing a BMW”.? This new found information was key to marketing for the brand. The campaign was lead by the VP of Marketing for BMW North America, Jim McDowell. With this campaign, BMW began to develop a non-traditional concept to show consumers what makes a BMW a BMW. Combining the ideas of producing a series of short films and using the Internet in an advertising campaign, short films for the Internet was born with BMW Films.
BMW assembled a cast of A-list directors and actors, and developed scripts within the basic structure of having a central character that helped people through difficult circumstances using clever driving skills in a BMW. The car became and was the “star”. Each director who chose a script was then given complete creative control over content and direction, something they would be short of to find in Hollywood, and something that BMW ordinarily wouldn’t allow if filming a traditional advertisement.
Supported with TV spots that mimicked movie trailers, print and online advertising, the promotional campaign was designed plainly to drive consumers to the BMW Films Web site for an entertainment experience found nowhere else. After a required registration step, viewers could watch streaming versions of the films or download the BMW Film Player, which serves as a branded wrapper around the films, and included vivid descriptions of the vehicles used in each film. Never before has an automotive company taken such a strong position to drive consumers to the Web, and the results were compelling.
More than 10 million films have been viewed from BMWFilms. com. The short films have had more than 100 million views to date. Nearly 2 million people registered on the site, with 60% of those registrants opting to receive more information via e-mail. An astonishing 94% of registrants recommended films to others, seeding the viral campaign, and more than 40,000 people voluntarily responded to a survey. This campaign of the BMW short films proved to be effective based on data gathered. The campaign highlighted the many strengths of BMW…just watch the short films for yourself and see why.
The only weakness for this campaign had to have been cost. This campaign’s first five films cost an estimated $15 million. The other three films made after, cost about $10 million. So in total the eight films combine cost $25 million. This was the most expensive marketing/advertising campaign BMW has produced to date. My recommendations for this campaign would have been to focus less on celebrities and famous directors and more on the actual car in the short films. I do understand that the celebrities did attract millions to this campaign, but this also cost the company millions.
The most important benefit of this campaign, was that BMW didn’t have to release a new vehicle to increase sales and interest. I personally own and drive a BMW 3-series and honestly, BMW’s trademark has always stuck in my mind… “The Ultimate Driving Machine. ” This car truly is “The Ultimate Driving Machine”. My 3-Series has been such a pleasure to drive; I cannot imagine myself driving any other vehicle now. Overall, I would have to say this campaign was a brilliant idea, and BMW has a lot to show for it. The BMW short films targeted the proper consumer groups, and attracted millions of viewers.
BMW highlighted the key features of the product in each film. Without saying a word, someone can watch one of the short films and instantly understand what BMW stands for. Watch the short films for yourself and see why millions have made BMW their choice. Sources: 1. ) http://twistedsifter. com/2009/08/bmw-films-the-hire/ 2. ) http://www. synovate. com/changeagent/index. php/site/full_story/thats_show_business 3. ) http://en. wikipedia. org/wiki/The_Hire 4. ) http://www. bmwusa. com/Standard/Content/Uniquely/TVAndNewMedia/BMWFilms. aspx 5. ) http://www. penn-olson. com/2010/01/08/the-legendary-bmw-film-series-in-2001/