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      05-06-2007, 05:43 PM   #46

Join Date: Feb 2007

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Image Campaigns on Car Company Web Sites

Originally Posted by SCOTT26 View Post
For your entry into the youthful approach to the marketing of the 1er Coupe.
Have a look at the international site and watch the overview presentations of the 1er in both 5dr and 3dr format.
This form of Kinetic visual imagery and individual approach will be very much so extended to the Coupe and the forthcoming Cabrio demographic .
I saw the kaleidoscopic theme presentation, featuring the white 3-door 1-series (including that visible antenna, which I don't like, as I've remarked previously), a few weeks ago, when it first appeared. The frenzied and repetitive music, brief image bursts, and cluttered list of theme choices to click on didn't really appeal to me very much, but then I'm also older than the few people whose faces were featured. One could almost get the impression, from watching this, that the archetypical guy this car is targeted to could be a perpetually unshaven city dweller who does acid, speed, and lots of coffee (and probably also nicotine).

Both the A3 Sportback and Boxster broadband videos, to which I had linked in previous posts, had a more focused message, in my view. The Sportback piece did a particularly good job in synthesizing the five "sensation elements", of Sun, Sea, Sand, Surf, and Sex into a compressed time frame.

I had thought that BMW would definitely have chosen to emulate a similar "derivative car" marketing approach as Porsche successfully accomplished with its Cayman model, which is essentially just a Boxster with hardtop and therefore should cost less. Likewise, differentiating the coupé from its platform predecessors by giving it a different name seemed like a logical decision. This kind of fresh introduction, unburdened by the unfortunate baggage of the 1-series 5-door vehicle (simply not good enough for the American market, and already with a facelift after only a couple of years in production) would have necessitated the designation as a "2-series" so many of us thought was imminent -- a different look, stiffer, lighter, sportier, more exciting. Perhaps the good news is that BMW won't be able to demand the same kind of surcharge it might have if the small coupé were called a "2-er".

The kind of youth-oriented introduction of a car directed to the city dwelling male, like myself, which I found very appealing was the short 45 second music trailer that was available for download in a high quality format last year during the introduction of the 2.7 liter Cayman. A low-quality version is available here, showing the two cars driving through the streets of downtown LA, almost as if though they were engaging in some kind of pre-sexual mating dance:

Though the average buyer of these cars is likely to be over 40 or even 50, the youthful association being made is obvious, especially when viewing the music video of the same song showing the band playing it:

Unlike in the BMW's kaleidosopic presentation of the 3-door 1-series, the guy in the band video takes extra care to shave himself in front of the mirror.

The Cayman presentation video on Porsche's American web site, filmed in LA, is also very compelling, as was the Internet introduction of the Cayman S prior to its initial presentation at the 2005 Frankfurt fair:

Since BMW has apparently chosen not to introduce a new "2-er", this type of elaborate presentation would probably not be possible because most BMW car enthusiasts (the most likely early purchasers) have already been reading about the coupé for years already and won't necessarily regard it as completely new.

With regard to the performance videos, the Nürburgring just got a big publicity boost a week ago, with the first Formula 1 ride on the Nordschleife in a few decades, organized by BMW. Also, with the proliferation of video cameras and broadcasting forums like Google and YouTube, there are plenty of rides along the Ring that can be seen nowadays, including a bunch taken from BMW's M5 Ring Taxis. Therefore, people are more curious what performace and handling actually looks like on the circuit where it was developed by the company that promises it in its advertisements. A good example of what I was alluding to in a previous post in this thread can be seen in the following video:

Though the sound you hear is that of an M3, what's important to note in these points of view is how much or little the car ahead handles in corners (i.e. wiggles its ass). Seeing the same run of a sporty car from three perspectives (car, chaser, and helicopter, shown either simultaneously, individually, or interwoven) certainly ought to be the next step in Internet marketing on a car company web site. Of course I would expect to be able to see this type of performance run even more so with the new M3.