As I was walking to the gym this yesterday in truly vain attempt to trim the belly fat accumulated through excessive hot dog consumption and various sugary confectionery treats that would send most diabetics straight into a coma, I came across a very well-maintained, last generation Mazda6 five-door, all in black with wicked 17-inch wheels, and a massive graphic on the rear glass. It was of a Transformer -- that cartoon turned movie franchise, turned cash cow and rolling promotional celluloid for cars and explosions.
I thought to myself “what kind of geek has a graphic of Megatron on his rear glass hatch?” Notwithstanding the fact that I knew it was Megatron, revealing me to be an even bigger geek, it dawned on me that here was one passionate fan. Someone who cares enough to show his colors wherever he drives. Good on him.
That theme of automotive passion made itself known again on my drive to work this morning as I was passed by a spanking new, sinister all-black-even-the-wheels, all-dressed, BMW 550 driven by the distillation of the brand's target customer. Under 50, male, type A, probably wears bikini briefs and sun glasses everywhere, even the shower. Don't ask how I know. My initial thought was “Man, that is one good looking wagon.” And then my second thought was “Jerk-face!” -- thus revealing my jealousy module to be fully active, because my dull gray matter computer calculated in a nano-second that I would never be able to afford a wonderful and soul-filled car like that unless I faked my and/or my wife’s death in a mysterious gardening accident.
So with automotive stirrings on the mind, I got to work, managed a frenzy of email and virtual yelling, and managed to get to a late lunch without having a heart attack. Upon surfing (that is my mental edification at the noon hour), I looked very briefly at my Facebook page to see a post from BMW with video of the new BMW M5. OK, I guess lunch can run a little longer...
The video posted a day or two ago is nothing short of a commercial for the soon to come M5, a car I fell in love with 20 years ago when it was a boxy shaped M5 with 256 bhp in North American form, and 286 in Euro-spec. Some 20+ years on, things have changed. You have the requisite German marketing dude with ze zick akkzent, the de rigeur engineering geek whose love for numbers outweighs that of his love for his wife, and then the ad moves to the car on the test track. (I'd also like to say, this three-minute ad is way cooler than the really fine Refueling ad BMW just pushed out recently, but the Refuel ad is really good too.)
Twin-turbo V-8, DSG, more electronics than you can shake a space shuttle at, but watch this video as one long ad and you start to get the picture. It’s automotive titillation with the BMW Überwagen in full motion, with shots of the speedo zeroing in on 300 km/h, the rev counter bouncing around like a spring-loaded jelly bean on Vivarin, smokey burnouts for the teenage male in all of us, and the repeated sounds of the twin-turbo engine and DSG cracking off shifts and playing a seductive automotive baritone that had me replay the video 5 times (at home, this time, my manager sits right near me at work).
One last note - the voice-over. It’s a pure TV voice smooth as motor oil that really isn't necessary. Just show me the car, the stunts, the sounds and I will sign on the dotted line as soon as my death is properly faked and I have collected the insurance money.