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BMW appeals to consumers with history, humor via social videoBy Tricia Carr
BMW is using humor to appeal to consumers in its latest social video called “Three of a kind” that portrays the history of the 3 Series through a trio of uncanny characters.
The short film shows three generations of the 3 Series model and is one of BMW Classic’s Bimmer Stories that are being presented on a microsite. This video was produced and shared via social media to strengthen the community awareness for BMW Classic, per the automaker.
“Use of humor and making someone laugh always helps them remember a brand message,” said Josh Harcus, director of business development and digital strategist at SayItSocial, Wilmington, NC.
“It is possible that BMW is looking to branch out and expand from that high-end brand mentality,” he said. “BMW is identifying with their audience with humor.”
BMW Classic coordinates all activities connected with the company’s history including historical archives, assortment of airplanes, communication, the museum and BMW’s role in the international club scene.
Mr. Harcus is not affiliated with BMW, but agreed to comment as an industry expert.
BMW could not comment directly before press deadline.
BMW created a microsite at http://bimmerstories.la where users can view the short film, learn more about the history of the 3 Series, explore the dashboard of a 2002 model and post personal photographs of their own vehicles.
Bimmer Stories microsite
Each character in the film represents a decade of 3 Series models.
The bearded Derek drives a first generation vehicle and seems to have taken to the island life.
Gordon appears in the video driving his second-generation model made in the 1980s.
Keri, the love interest of both male characters, drives a third-generation 3 Series made in the 1990s.
Each character embodies their respective car and shares its traits throughout the film.
The video begins at an outdoor plant shop where a woman named Keri is standing with potted flowers.
Derek drives up in his first-generation BMW and asks Keri where valet parking is because he cannot leave his valuable car on the street.
Then, Derek proceeds to compliment Keri by comparing her beauty to his BMW’s.
Soon Gordon pulls up in his vehicle talking on a large, dated mobile phone.
Both men try humorous one-liners to impress Keri. Gordon says “Don’t compare a pony to a horse” to signal the superiority of his car over the first-generation model.
Keri remains confused as the two battle it out for her attention.
At the end of the film Keri drives away from the scene in her bright yellow third-generation “Bimmer,” leaving both men stunned at her newer model.
Both male characters carry a hint of irony in their delivery, which hints at many of today’s popular comedy feature films.
The film could be an interpretation of the movie “The Hangover,” per Mr. Harcus. Derek could remind viewers of the character played by comedian and actor Zach Galifianakis.
“BMW is definitely trying to nail the younger demographic with this video,” Mr. Harcus said. “They are using all of the aspects of a digital marketing campaign such as video and social to try to appeal to younger consumers.
“The video will help the brand expand its demographic, but I am also wondering how much it will hinder it,” he said. “I could see if I was a successful person who was fond of BMW, I might think that the brand is mocking the lifestyle I live.”
BMW seemed to have created this video to leverage the history of its 3 Series model by appealing to younger consumers through humor.
It is probable that viewers of the video are owners of older-model BMW 3 Series vehicles.
The film’s goal to strengthen the BMW Classic community seems to be in motion as many consumers have taken to the microsite to share photos of their own classic BMW car.
Bimmer Stories photo sharing site
BMW of North America used humor along with other themes that appealed to a younger generation in its “0 to DESIR3 in 5.9 seconds” YouTube contest that showcased the 3 Series.
The automaker used social media outlets to encourage consumer participation in the contest by asking users to vote for their favorite video to decide who wins a new 3 Series sedan (see story)
BMW seems to be embracing video, per Mr. Harcus.
“By posting to YouTube, a brand is using a cost-effective form of communication,” Mr. Harcus said.
“It will not cost a brand millions like a 30-second Super Bowl commercial slot would,” he said. “A brand can have a short film on YouTube and get millions of hits if it goes viral.”
“BMW is tapping into these social programs that the majority of consumers are using.”
Tricia Carr, editorial assistant on Luxury Daily, New York
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