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BMW aims for younger consumers via Spotify placement

May 30, 2013


BMW of North America is aiming for a younger demographic through a pop-up advertisement on Internet music provider Spotify’s mobile application.

The German automaker’s ad shows off the new BMW 320i that starts at $32,550. BMW is likely aiming to reach younger consumers by placing ads on Spotify for its 3-series vehicle.

“Most of us envision BMW’s key target audience as the professionally headstrong, with-it, younger adults who appreciate fast, sleek gadgets,” said Shuli Lowy, marketing director at Ping Mobile, Beverly Hills, CA.

“This target audience heavily overlaps with the technology-savvy music enthusiasts serviced by Spotify,” she said. “Accordingly, Spotify is a great place for BMW to promote its vehicles."

Ms. Lowy is not affiliated with BMW, but agreed to comment as an industry expert.

BMW was unable to comment before press deadline.

New radio

Spotify takes radio to the next level by giving consumers the ability to stream music through a PC and a mobile device.

BMW’s Spotify ad pops up between songs while a user is listening. The ad lasts 30 seconds while broadcasting a brief message and an image takes over the screen.

This BMW ad shows off the 320i vehicle with BMW EfficientDynamics and gives a call to action on a button that reads “Learn More.”

Spotify ad

A click through on the button brings consumers to BMW USA’s mobile-optimized site. The main landing page shows the vehicle that was in the Spotify ad.

Landing page

However, the home screen rotates through pages that show off a variety of vehicles.

Home page option

A click through on the “Learn more” button on the landing page brings consumers to a quick overview of the 320i sedan.

Vehicle information

From this page, consumers can bring up a menu to access model highlights, a media gallery, build-your-own vehicle, vehicle compare, special offers and the owner’s manual.

Also, consumers can view similar vehicles by scrolling over the image on the top of the page.

However, with the number of options and functions on the Web site, consumers could easily get lost.

“The mobile site that the ad leads to is structured quite differently than most mobile sites,” Ms. Lowy said. “Typically, mobile sites place the most usable menu functions on the homepage so that the user can easily navigate to the desirable content.

“Instead, BMW’s mobile Web site homepage features multiple sliding images with calls to action,” she said.

“This structure makes their mobile Web site more difficult to navigate and is likely to disappoint users who arrived at the Web site with intentions to fill specific informational gaps.”

Mobile mavens

BMW seems to be targeting younger consumers with its mobile efforts.

For instance, the automaker raised the bar for mobile advertising among luxury marketers with a campaign that comprises video content and Google Maps integration to push the i concept vehicles.

The ad showed the various i concept vehicles driving along the ad space and a Google Map of the area that the mobile user is in. A click-through led to a BMW Web site that gave users a virtual test drive of an i concept vehicle (see story).

Also, the automaker has previously placed ads on Spotify.

BMW strayed from traditional radio advertising for its DESIR3 campaign through an ad placement on Spotify that connected to a microsite for its 3 Series.

Consumers who clicked on the ad were brought to a page where they were able to explore the 3 Series by scrolling with their cursors (see story).

Given its target audience, Spotify seems to be an appropriate outlet for BMW.

“The intentions of reaching a younger, hardworking audience is partially evident in the fact that the brand is using the ad to promote one of the its more affordable models,” Ms. Lowy said.

“The ad placement is well chosen and is likely to boost the brand’s visibility among one of its key target audiences,” she said.

Final take

Erin Shea, editorial assistant on Luxury Daily, New York