BMW, already known for being on the forefront of new media opportunities–evident by their introduction of BMW Films several years ago–is again proving itself to be a brand that can differentiate itself through digital media, with the launch of a campaign for the new 1-Series. Because the new vehicle is targeted at younger audience, BMW smartly chose to spend almost half their marketing budget online.
Reported in the NY Times:
“Almost half the spending for the campaign, estimated at $15 million to $25 million, is being devoted to online media. By comparison, executives at BMW of North America say, Internet ad spending for other models ranges from 1 percent to 15 percent of the total ad budgets.
“The online elements of the 1-Series campaign include letting members of Facebook…design virtual cars and send them to Facebook friends; buying dominant positions, known as take-overs, on the home pages of msn.com and yahoo.com; posting video clips on YouTube; and developing a microsite devoted to the 1-Series (bmwusa.com/new1).
“The campaign is indicative of efforts by mainstream marketers to alter their media mixes as consumers change their media habits. A recent survey by PQ Media projected that by 2012, advertisers will increase spending by 82 percent from 2008 in areas like search-engine marketing, online video and e-mail messages.”
However, while it seems like I would be in the target market (identified as 20-somethings and 30-somethings) for this new car, I can’t find the Facebook app or the YouTube videos. And, the microsite is hardly a microsite. It looks like any other car website where you can customize and price your vehicle. Am I missing something here? Someone, please tell me.
Well, maybe I will be able to find the traditional ads, which seem pretty cool too:
“There are some unconventional approaches for the traditional media, too. Three magazines — City, Dwell and Paste — are printing pure-white covers that are glued over the actual front covers of the issues; there are ads for the 1-Series on the other sides of the extra covers.
“And magazines like City and AutoWeek are running tiny ads for the 1-Series with numerical themes at the bottom of editorial pages, which double as page-number identifications.
“For example, there is an itsy-bitsy white car on page 26 of the April issue of the magazine City next to this sentence: ’26: number of bones in right foot you’ll use to crush the gas pedal on the all-new BMW 1-Series.’
“At the bottom of page 60, there is a miniature red car and this sentence: ’60: m.p.h. you can reach in 5.1 seconds with the all-new BMW 135i coupe.’