BMW’s new i8 is a cutting edge vehicle using new technologies to make it the among the most impressive hybrid electrics on the road. However, few vehicles capture the public’s imagination without great advertising campaigns and, in Germany, the maker seems to be making an impact with the i8.
According to a study by Pulse, a German market research agency, 44% of German car buyers were aware of BMW’s i8 advertising campaign in Germany and that it reinforced the future competence and “coolness” of the BMW brand.
That number rises to 58% when only BMW owners are polled. Additionally, Audi, Mercedes-Benz and Toyota drivers came in above the 44% mark, which indicates that the i8 campaign is BMW is impacting drivers of competing brands.
An additional web 2.0 analysis reveals the i8 plays an important role in the perception BMW as a forward thinking company willing to take risks. The analysis showed those who saw the ads bought into the idea that “BMW is brave, (and) the car has been developed around the drive line and not the other way around.”
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The actual impact of the campaign, however, shows that the perception of BMW by 68% of those who noticed the campaign agreed with the statement that BMW vehicles are built for the future. Only half of those who were unaware of the campaign concurred with the statement.
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As a result of the campaign, many saw BMW and its vehicles as “young and cool,” “future focused” and “dynamic.” Many also noted that “BMW builds desirable cars.”
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Ironically, the campaign has done little to raise BMW’s profile with the public when it comes to their perception of the maker as a leader in the development of electric and hybrid drives. The lesson automakers and dealers can learn from the i8 campaign? According to Konrad Weßner, CEO of Pulse, that it’s important to link advanced technology with the emotional appeal of a vehicle.