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BMW hits mobile video stride through Hulu Plus advertising

By
March 6, 2012

BMW ad on Hulu Plus

German automaker BMW is upping its mobile marketing through a variety of video advertisements on Hulu Plus’ mobile application for the iPhone.

BMW is pushing the new 3 Series and its DESIR3 campaign with various short clips in between commercial breaks while consumers are watching television shows and movies on their mobile devices. The ads connect to a mobile-optimized site where users can learn about the 3 Series and scope out a BMW dealership.

“As one of highest volume models, the BMW 3 Series appeals to a broader audience than one might initially expect,” said Tom Penich, media communications manager of BMW of North America. “The use of broadband-streaming sites allows us to tap into a slightly younger and more aspirational audience, in addition to the traditional BMW consumer.

“The mobile ads are part of a larger broadband strategy that also includes the desktop version of Hulu,” he said. “This ensures a consistent viewer experience and delivers ultimate impact regardless of the device being used.”

The 3 Series comes in modern, sport and luxury lines. All three are four-door sedans with eight-speed automatic transitions with a 240-horsepower, four-cyllinder engine that gets 36 miles to the gallon.

The models are designed to be eco-friendly while still maintaining the power of a luxury car.

A-plus
There are multiple videos that BMW has chosen to advertise on Hulu Plus, the ads of which are shown on top-rated shows from NBC, ABC and Fox. 

Some of the commercials were aired during the Super Bowl, where the automaker chose to push the 3 Series originally.

The video shows a consumer using the car for various reasons – opening the trunk and using the seat memory, for example – before a small blurb pops up on screen to clarify the feature.

For instance, one clip shows a man pulling up to his house and the car reading him an email from his wife telling him that his mother-in-law is inside.

BMW video

The video cuts to a scene that says “BMW Connected Drive reads email. You’re welcome.”

The final voiceover in all of the clips say, “We only make one thing: the ultimate driving machine.”

Viewers can click on the “learn more” feature on the top of the video that connects consumers to a mobile-optimized page.

On the site, consumers can browse through different options including vehicle highlights, special offers, efficient dynamics, BMW financial services and videos that all pertain to the 3 Series.

BMW mobile site

Users can also locate a BMW dealer if they want to test drive a 3 Series model.

All content is within the Hulu app and accessing more information does not cause consumers to lose their place in the video or exit the app.

“Video advertising is a perfect fit for luxury brands,” said Lisa Abramson, director of marketing for Rhythm New Media, Mountain View, CA. “In addition to promoting their products, luxury brands are also selling the idea of a high-end experience.

“Video advertising has long been the best medium for this type of brand advertising due to its combination of sight, sound and motion,” she said. “Mobile video advertising is also an immersive experience, there are no distractions or clutter like there are online or with television.”

Streaming for attention
Branded videos are becoming more common as luxury marketers are realizing that video is one of the best ways to showcase products.

Luxury automakers have always taken advantage of television advertising. Since shows on Hulu originally start on TV, it makes sense that marketers would move their products to the site.

Mobile video, especially, is growing like crazy. In fact, in-stream mobile video ads have an average 89 percent completion rate, claims Ms. Abramson.

In addition, Rhythm New Media has seen more than 25 percent growth of automaker advertisers using mobile video in the first quarter of this year, she said.

“Luxury automakers have a great opportunity when it comes to mobile video advertising,” Ms. Abramson said. “The uniquely immersive experience of in-stream mobile video yields remarkably high completion rates.

“As with all advertising, and especially luxury brands, context is very important,” she said. “Luxury brands should find a transparent mobile advertising partner to ensure their brand is being associated with equally-respected professional content.”

Final Take
Rachel Lamb, associate reporter on Luxury Daily, New York

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Rachel Lamb is an associate reporter on Luxury Daily. Her beats are apparel and accessories, arts and entertainment, education, food and beverage, fragrance and personal care, government, healthcare, home furnishings, jewelry, legal/privacy and nonprofits. Reach her at rachel@napean.com.

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