BMW

The BMW iWindow.

I’m currently on location in Santa Barbara filming and such, but while taking a break I thought I’d post this interesting video from BMW. This isn’t new, the event actually happened last November. I missed it when it dropped on YouTube and my friend Paul happened to show it to me today. This is a great use of video, and technology to promote a product that won’t even arrive for another 12 months.

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The Art of the Car, Kansas City.

I took a couple days off from posting. Sometimes you just need a break from the routine, and as the weekend rolled in that’s where I found myself. Today I ventured out into the abnormally 100 degree heat to take in “The Art of the Car” at the Kansas City art Institute. As myself and ten thousand others melted under the late June sun, I was fortunate enough to see some of the finest rolling stock that ever lived.

There was a time, when cars didn’t look the same. When you could tell one brand from another by the look of the grill, the fender line, the hood ornament. There was a period of automotive glory that seemed to die around 1980 as cars became more and more generic. I go to this car show every year and today ore than any other, I was fixated on automobiles that were pushing 100, or at least 60. As I looked at the wonderful styling, craftsmanship, and attention to detail, I wondered “where did this go with the modern car?” Yes today’s automobiles are safer, more efficient, loaded with creature comforts, require less effort to drive… and for the most part they are boring.

I look at what I saw today, and say they don’t have to be.

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DTM makes its return. BMW Motorsport Advertising Done Right.

This week marks the countdown to the biggest auto race in the USA, The Indy 500. I’m not a huge Indy fan, nor am I a NASCAR guy. I tend to like auto racing that isn’t based on an oval track, where the cars turn more than just left. I know, all the NASCAR fans just groaned and said “He’s missing the point”. None the less I am sticking to guns and watching SCCA, Formula 1, Rally, etc.

Now with that said, to help kick off this big racing week here in America, I am posting a little bit about BMW racing. Come on now, There is a lot of German heritage in this country so humor me, and this is one hell of an advertising campaign to promote BMW Motorsport and celebrate BMW M’s 40th anniversary.

To introduce the BMW German Touring Car Masters team, BMW has launched a new print and video campaign built around “Welcome to the team. Come closer”. The campaign emphasizes the involvement with racing fans and offers an opportunity to experience BMW racing even more direct and unfiltered.

The campaign was implemented by Service Plan in Munich and has been distributed on an international level. Creative Director Matthias Harbeck, says the campaign is designed to make BMW racing feel closer, more personal, intense and a dynamic show. The campaign highlights the brand by bringing the excitement of racing to the fans and at the same time to differentiate BMW from their competitors.

The printed portion of the campaign uses beautiful photography that highlights the racing cars on the track. Dramatic lighting and camera angles help accent the intense feeling of being at the track watching the car and drivers preform. There is a minimal amount of copy which allows the images to sell the brand. A simple call out to the BMW Motor Sport website and the “Sheer Driving Pleasure” tag line are all that is needed.

The companion YouTube video has a really nice feel to it. The editing is spot on accentuating the fact that this is a team sport. There are some really nice slow motion shots of the car in action combined with re-timed footage that adds drama to the video.

In addition to the video embedded here, there are 10 short films at the BMW Motor Sport channel on YouTube, including the BMW Motorsport Showroom movie.

All of this is combined with posters, advertisements, autograph cards, branded ticketing agents, flyers and give-aways as well as the branded features from hospitality, to the paddock behind the racetracks. All of this is targeted to include special guests and the public.

In addition to the traditional advertising materials, BMW has developed required reading for all BMW fans with a 200 page magazine titled “110%”.The magazine is available at tracks where BMW is competing as well as BMW dealers.The magazine is a glossy book that deals with all things relating to BMW Motorsport, including  behind the scenes with BMW racing, driver and the team portraits, the track circuits and of course the new BMW M3 DTM. Through out the magazine there are QR codes which are tied directly to additional interactive content, and a BMW Motorsport micro sitewith even more video, images, and an on-board 3D video of the new M3 DTM in action on the track, as well as a complete pit stop action from eight different angles.

BMW Summer iPad Magazine/Application.

I’ve actually had this iPad magazine/application for a couple of months now. I originally got it because I wanted to check out the interactive features, and the way BMW designed the interface and user experience. I started writing a review of it a while ago, but for some reason never finished it. Like so many other things, it just got away from me in the last 6 months. Anyway, as a new owner of a BMW 128i (the MINI was totaled back in June) I recently grabbed a number of the BMW iPhone applications and that reminded me of the iPad magazine.

Like most iPad magazines, the BMW magazine has all sorts of interactive features. Things that are only possible on a computer or in this case a tablet. The issue I am reviewing here is the summer issue. I don’t know if BMW released a Spring or Winter issue earlier, but I am going to assume if they did it behaved very much like this one. The BMW Summer magazine/application looks and feels like a beautiful glossy magazine. The difference is, it packs some very cool interactive multimedia features making it feel even more impressive.

As you work through the magazine, you scroll horizontally flipping from page to page with your finger. AT certain points they give you subtle visual hints letting you know there is additional content below the fold. If you scroll down, you see the article in its entirety. At any given point while scrolling the page vertically, you can move on to the next or previous article with a quick swipe of the finger. The navigation feels a bit awkward at first, but once you understand the metaphor it makes a lot of sense. The UI allows the reader to move through the experience more fluidly.

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As for the content, the pages look great and respond fluidly as you flip from article to article.   If you want to go deeper than just looking at the pictures or reading, you can can explore the app’s fun multimedia side which includes video, games, audio, links to additional content, etc. As with the content that was lifted from the print side, the interactive components are well designed, visually stunning, and created to extend the overall experience. Content includes everything from an interactive “Paint your own BMW Art Car” game, to a car navigation feature which will guide you to a restaurant featured in the applications travel feature.

BMW like Audi has long been an early adopter of Apple iOS technology With this latest application BMW is continuing to investment in connecting Apple device lovers with the BMW brand. This is not only a great iPad magazine/application, this is a great brand driver for BMW owners and non-owners. You don’t have to own one of their cars to enjoy what BMW offers here.