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Marty’s Marketing Minutia

by on Mar.05, 2010

BMW launches new campaign based on the “joy” of driving

The recent launch of the new 5-Series will be complemented by the debut of the BMW ActiveHybrid 5 at the Geneva Motor Show.

BMW sings an ode to "Joy" in a dramatic shift in advertising campaigns.

BMW’s slogan “The Ultimate Driving Machine” has been part of the brand’s DNA since 1974, according to Dave Kiley’s book Driven, when the Ammirati &Purvis ad agency pitched it to the BMW execs in Munich (including Bob Lutz) in their new business presentation that won them the account.

A phone call from a public relations person alerted me to a hot release headed my way about the new BMW campaign, “the joy of driving,” from the brand’s worldwide agency GSD&M.  Joy, but considering the long history of “Ultimate Driving Machine,” perhaps shocking is an equally applicable term.

In a subsequent phone interview with Jack Pitney, vice president marketing of BMW, prompted my first question “Are you giving up the Ultimate Driving Machine slogan?”  Pitney, who was home sick in bed answered rather hoarsely “We are not giving up the best, longest running automotive slogan ever written: The Ultimate Driving Machine. Our research showed the time was right to move to softer, more personally involving advertising communications.”

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That’s how our conversation began about the new ad campaign.  Here a few excerpts from that conversation.