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BMW generates test drives through mobile video advertising

January 6, 2010


beemer11BMW ran a personalized mobile video advertising campaign to promote its X1 car model to a younger demographic in China.

BMW is growing quickly in China as its sales are up this year more than 40 percent to 90,000 units. For the launch of the X1 series, the German luxury automaker recognized that the mobile device is the primary Internet access tool in China and it is the most relevant medium for a younger demographic.

“BMW wanted to have a unique campaign targeting a younger demographic with a high impact and personal message,” said Alexander de Boissezon, business development manager at Clip in Touch, Netanya, Israel. 

“The personalized videos, or technically advertisements, were designed to have an impact so that viewers would show their friends and create a viral buzz around the campaign with the idea of BMW qualifying and sending me a personalized holiday greeting,” he said. 

Reaching a younger demographic 

The targeted messages, distributed Dec. 21-24 in Shanghai, Beijing and Guangzhou, address individual customers with a holiday greeting that is uniquely tailored to a specific individual.

beemer22The technology for the campaign’s targeting and personalization was provided by Clip in Touch.

Initial response to the campaign has been very positive, generating more test drives in a three day period than at any time this year.

There are roughly 165 million high-speed, 3G mobile broadband subscribers in China and these are extremely active mobile Internet users.

In fact, 58 percent of Chinese mobile Web users post Web 2.0 content via their handsets, compared with 41 percent of those in the United States, according to Phonevalley. 

BMW believes it empowers people to express their individuality and personality and the car maker wanted its X1 marketing message to do the same.

No newbie to mobile
In April, a BMW Germany mobile campaign was deployed to sell more winter tires and is said to have achieved a 30 percent conversion rate.

BMW Germany wanted to remind its customers that snow tires are more of a necessity rather than luxury, especially during the winter in Germany. The luxury carmaker targeted owners of BMWs, urging them to visit a local dealership and buy a set of tires (see story).

BMW turned to mobile to launch its new BMW Z4 Roadster as well. The German company introduced the Z4 Roadster to auto enthusiasts with a new application for the iPhone. The car was launched a few days ago at the Geneva Auto Show (see story).

The car maker also ran a mobile campaign on the Nokia Media Network to promote some of its popular luxury vehicles to consumers in Spain (see story).

Also, BMW's mobile advertising campaign for the new BMW 1 Series Coupe resulted in a 67 percent increase in traffic to the brand's WAP site for Britain (see story).

For the campaign in China, Clip in Touch enabled a targeted campaign with sight, sound and motion that BMW’s audience can personalize and make their very own.

Clip in Touch provides a platform for sending advertising campaigns via MMS.

The uniqueness comes in allowing users to personalize, edit and add their own voice, video and text to any advertising campaign.

“Mobile was the ideal fit here as there’s no medium that's more personal for communication and the younger demographic they targeted are very active Internet and multimedia users on their mobile devices,” Mr. de Boissezon said.