December 2, 2016
German automaker BMW is at the start of what could be a dramatic shift in the television advertising industry by allowing users to interact through their remote controls.
Consumers with smart television sets such as Roku will be able to interact with new BMW ads for a more personalized and helpful ad experience. Interested users can grab their remotes to view a BMW X1 in various colors or different angles while the ad is playing.
“The campaign is innovative, because it allows audiences to begin their showroom experience without getting off the couch,” said Robert Aksman, cofounder of BrightLine. “The experience increases the effectiveness of each impression, by allowing viewers to get hands on with BMW right there during the commercial, with a simple 'left right' click on the remote control.
“Personalizing TV advertising is the new frontier for marketers looking to exploit the rapid adoption of new connected viewing environments,” he said.
The television ad was made in partnership with Advanced TV solutions developer BrightLine.
Driving marketing innovation
Television viewers that have connected TV sets will be able to interact with BMW advertises to get more information in regards to X1 purchases. Currently, there are two separate experiences available for one spot.
The 30-second spot features a man angrily leaving a golf course, presumably because he lost. As he aggressively packs the trunk of his BMW X1, his peers also load up the trunk as well.
Users can browse different colors
Although he is irate at first, it is not escalated when packing the back of the car because the BMW vehicle offers so much room in the trunk that all of the golf equipment can fit in easily. Before the ad appears, viewers with a capable TV will see a prompt saying, “Grab your remote! An interactive ad is loading…”
Underneath the ad, what looks like a banner ad appears with a smaller version of the vehicle being promoted. An icon of the TV remote is included, instructing users to scroll left or right.
Users click right or left to scroll
One version of the ad will allow users to scroll through various colors of X1 by selecting left or right. The other experience prompts users to change the various views and angles of the vehicle to get a better look.
BMW ad innovation
The German automaker is well equipped with creating innovating campaigns and interesting marketing features.
For instance, BMW recently took a page from Hollywood and rebooted its celebrity-packed action film series, located online.
Social media users and television viewers were being enticed by BMW with teases for its upcoming short film, featuring actors Clive Owen and Dakota Fanning. The film series, airing on BMWfilms.com, is a new generation retelling of its early 2000s films featuring Mr. Owen as a driver in conflict situations, appealing to the masses (see more).
It also augmented visibility for this year’s Paralympics through a series of sponsorship activations on Snapchat.
The non-profit worldwide athletic competition Paralympics kicked off a few weeks after this year’s Summer Olympics, but usually sees significant less broadcast attention. As a sixth-year sponsor, BMW shined a light on United States athletes with behind-the-scenes preparation and on-site happenings with a Snapchat Live story, paired with sponsored ads within the app's Discover channel content (see more).
BMW’s latest, with interactive TV ads, is its most innovative.
“The campaign is important because it takes advantage of the nationwide trend toward streaming TV behavior,” Mr. Aksman said. “BMW is reaching audiences in all the ways that they now watch TV, and in effect demonstrating their cutting edge car technology by using cutting edge TV ad technology.”