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      02-07-2012, 05:03 PM   #71

Drives: 2011 AW E90 M3 - ZCP
Join Date: Nov 2011
Location: ATL

iTrader: (0)

These ads are WAY off message

I have some experience in brand/product marketing and ensuring that advertising is sending the right message. The tagline (The Ultimate Driving Machine) is the brand promise - its about who you are and what your product represents. It conveys the unique qualities of your products and your brand. Those things should differentiate you from competitive products on the market. What you present to the viewer/reader in advertising should provide reasons to believe the tagline and reinforce your claim to that tagline.

These ads don't reinforce BMW's claim to being the "Ultimate Driving Machine." They fail in two ways in my opinion. First, most of them don't highlight features which directly make the act of "driving" more fun or enjoyable. Text to speech (with a 1980's quality synth voice), automated trunk opening, memory seats and keyless entry are nice options, but don't reinforce the brand. These features are for commuters, not "drivers"....and while the vast majority of BMW owners commute in their BMWs (me included), that's NOT AT ALL the reason I purchased a BMW. BMW owners don't "ride," or commute - WE ARE DRIVERS -RIGHT?

Secondly, most of these features are practically ubiquitous. The fact that memory seats are mentioned in an ad is almost quaint. I don't know anyone who's been impressed by memory seats since 1988 maybe? It's been so long that I can't even remember when they became table stakes in this segment. To be clear, I'm not saying these features shouldn't be available on BMWs, but rather that BMW shouldn't be using these features in advertising to convey what's different and unique about their cars. ("Respeck," to those of you purists who don't want any of this stuff on your car - I salute you.)

I'll wrap by saying this: BMW is launching a brand new 3 series. The 3 series is the bread and butter of the brand. Getting the 3 series right is essential to BMW's success, so this opening salvo of advertising should set the tone for what this car is about. Of ALL of the advances the company has made in these models, memory seats and keyless entry is where they've decided to spend their advertising dollar? Aren't these new cars faster, lighter, better handling, more spacious AND more efficient than their predecessors? There's an enormous amount of material there to use in support of BMW's claim to "The Ultimate Driving Machine," and somehow BMWNA's marketing people and advertising firm have decided to focus on some pretty mundane stuff. I don't get it, and I suspect that when the brief, quiet chuckle is over, most viewers won't get it either.