CASSIES Silver: BMW drives new performance standards

As part of the M line launch campaign, a video featured an M1 drifting around the tallest rooftop helipad in the world.

Long-Term Success

Situation Analysis: BMW had long been seen as the leader of the Canadian premium automotive segment, built on its commitment to automotive engineering and a superior driving experience. However, the popularity of the 3 Series combined with success in the expanding SUV segment was making BMW known more for its badge value than its high-performance credentials. Complicating matters further, Audi and Mercedes-Benz were encroaching into BMWs territory due to an elevated focus on high-performance.

Insight & Strategy: The upcoming high-performance line of M vehicles could remind Canadians what BMW and the thrill of driving were all about. Car enthusiasts loved to keep abreast of the latest news and technology and demonstrate their expertise and knowledge, doing the majority of that research online with blogs and discussion forums. While the bulk of car enthusiasts were anticipating the arrival of the 1M, there was some online debate and chatter that the 1M would not be able to deliver true M performance – that it wasn’t a “true” M vehicle. They needed to show, not tell, what BMW performance was all about.

Execution: Launched on June 8, 2011, the BMW M campaign was supported by an integrated, national media plan, which included cinema, online, magazines, OOH and business elevators, extending onto television in 2014. Given a modest media budget, regulatory restrictions of showing aggressive car footage on TV and the media habits of car enthusiasts, a social video approach was used to fan the flames of conversation and actively engage car enthusiasts in dialogue around the performance capabilities of M vehicles.

Creatively, the series of M-model performance cinema and YouTube films pushed the boundaries of believability, starting with the 1M model racing around the world’s highest rooftop helipad. In outdoor, the image of taking off like a rocket ship was used, while print was used to tell the larger M story. In 2012, the spotlight was on the M5, considered the world’s fastest premium sedan, while, after a year off air in 2013 due to no new M models, 2014 focused on the new M4, shown racing around a super carrier in the middle of the ocean. Throughout the campaign, select print, OOH, digital and social media executions featured the entire M family of vehicles, promoting the BMW M brand as a whole.

Results: The total sale of all BMW M vehicles exceeded the target by 19% in 2011 and 21% in 2012.

In 2014, year-to-date sales of BMW M vehicles were 142% higher than the same period in 2013 when no creative ran. Canada’s rank in the global M market, in terms of BMW M sales as a percentage of total BMW sales, moved from second to first place in 2011, holding that position for three years.

Cause & Effect: In 2013 when no campaign ran, BMW Canada fell short of its sales target for BMW M vehicles by 4%. The total combined media and production spending level of $4.1 million since 2011 is conservative by industry standards. There was no unusual price discounting during the campaign while BMW M promotional and event activity maintained the same level as in previous years.

Client: BMW Group Canada
Director of marketing: Kevin Marcotte
Brand communications manager: Kerry Fleiser
Brand communications specialist: Melissa Luong
National manager: Marc Belcourt
Product Planning Specialist: Jonathan Thomson
Agency: Cundari
CCOs: Andrew Simon, Brent Choi
CDs: Brian Murray, Mike Dietrich, Raul Garcia
ADs: Mike Dietrich, Sarah Adlam, Raul Garcia, Andrew Bernardi
CWs: Brian Murray, Alexandra Manahan, Maggie Pycherek
Agency producers: Melanie Lambertsen, Sumit Ajwani
Account managers: Adam Lang, Anna Halfpenny, Amanda Sanguigni, Katie Lynn, Daryn Sutherland
Executive producers: Winston Helgason, Pete King
Production companies: The Embassy VFX, Big Block, Bandito Brothers
Producers: Danielle Kinsey, Kay Rough, Ted Herman, John Durrant, Phil Fyfe
Directors: Ozan Biron, Mark Glaser, Mike “Mouse” McCoy
VFX supervisor: David Casey
CG supervisor: Michael Blackbourn
Editors: Ozan Biron, Brandon Porter
Cinematographers: Ozan Biron, Shaun Lawless, Mark Glaser
Colourist: Dave Casey
Animator: Adam Marisett
SFX: Dmitri Bajenov, Himanshu Joshi, Mike Lowes, Paul Copeland, Simon van de Lagemaat, Tristam Gieni
Compositors: Austin Basile, Marc-Andre Gray, Michael Stewart, Nikolai Michaleski
Production supervisor: Kristi Lippa
Post production companies: The Embassy, Lemonade Films, Whitehouse Post
Audio companies: Source Sound, Silent Joe West
Audio directors: Charles Deenen, Roger Harris, Jamey Scott
Sound design: Charles Deenen, Toni Gort, Jo Rossi
Media Experts: Karel Wegert, Kris Davis, George Huovinen, Jennifer Douglass
Strategist: Andrea Sampson
Social media agency: Com.motion
Social strategist: Laurie Weir