BMW launches its first global branding campaign this month with a
series of pictorial juxtapositions between the parts of its cars and
objects from everyday life.
The pounds 12 million campaign is the first to be created by WCRS since
it was appointed lead agency for the German car manufacturer around the
world (Campaign, 14 June 1996). Its aim is to reinforce BMW’s position
as a high-performance brand.
Each ad features one product of BMW engineering - described as ’the
finished article’ - and, by its side, an object which allegedly inspired
it, labelled ’the prototype’. One execution shows the jaw bones of a
killer shark as the ’prototype’ for the brake disc of the BMW M3. It
makes the jaws of even a great white shark appear toothless, the copy
In a similar vein, a fingerprint is presented as the prototype for the
BMW key, a spider’s web for its suspension system and a compass for the
navigation system installed in BMW cars.
The campaign, which was written by Steve Little and Darren Bailes, and
art directed by John Selby and Alan MacCuish, was unveiled at a press
conference in Munich this week.
’The challenge was to identify creativity that would transcend national
barriers, both linguistic and cultural,’ said Stephen Knight, the group
account director for BMW.
It will run in a range of international and general titles in Europe,
Asia, and the Americas, to tap into the elusive audience of mobile,
influential business people. Planned and bought by German media company,
Mediaplay, the ads will run in such publications as the Economist, Time,
Newsweek and National Geographic, as well as in-flight magazines and a
variety of national titles across all markets.
The campaign maintains the same metallic feel used to good effect for
the launch of BMW’s 5 Series in the UK last year, and was photographed
by Ashton Keiditch.