A little while ago I dissected an ad BMW put together as part of its "BMW. Joy" campaign that you can check out on www.bmw.tv containing all kinds of great promos and such. But when I went back to check out if they had posted any new ads, I clicked on the "BMW. Joy" ad by accident and decided I would watch it again.
And boy was I surprised at what they had added. But before I tell you, let's go over some facts. BMW is the premier premium car manufacturer globally, especially when it comes to global sales. Mercedes-Benz used to hold that title until it lost its way and became the follower and not the leader. But playing the upstart, Audi had leaped into second place in the sales charts and hearts and minds of many an upscale urban professional by virtue of a stellar product line, a clear message, and some great advertising. In short, its star is rising and it threatens the BMW constellation in a big way.
So by now you're asking yourself, what is this sleep-deprived, over-worked, under-paid blog-jockey getting at? It's about competition and how BMW is choosing to portray it--read Audi and its owners.
When you watch the ad, which you can see if you click here, you'll notice that BMW added a superbly funny and yet nasty bit where the next door neighbor, in Affluent-ville, USA, is peaking at his neighbors, who are all stretching and limbering up to leap passionately and overtly into their Bavarian Joy Wagen.
The suspicious nextdoor neighbor is supposed to represent the "typical" Audi customer. And the first thing you notice is that he's a little envious of the BMW owner passion. He's also a little slimy, not as clean-cut as those successful BMW folk. He's got a printed shirt and greasy hair and looks a little suspect. Quite suspect, in fact. Like a used car salesman.
It's all the details that make this BMW ad so good. When the Audi guy comes out, he's not displaying passion or joy, but derision and envy. He gives a half-hearted warm-up routine. And notice there is NO MUSIC playing when he's in the picture. BMW owners always have music.
So when the Audi dude tries the leap through the open car window, it's an awkward leap. And he injures himself in a tender male area, and then hits the ground hard and is in obvious pain. Along rolls up the BMW Z4, honks to see if he's OK, and the slimy, injured and pissed off Audi owner waves him off and he gets into his inferior car.
And there is one delicious detail in there that made me laugh out loud more than the "cup-shot" the actor takes. It's the fake German license plate he has on the front of his Audi. You know those fake European plates that North Americans have to have on their Teutonic Turbowagen to prove just how cool they are, when in fact it's the ultimate poseur accessory.
And that is what BMW is saying about Audi owners. They are poseurs, second class, just not as cool and committed as BMW owners.
Nasty, BMW, just nasty.