February 8, 2024
At Sunday’s major sporting event, German automaker BMW will advertise a new-generation vehicle.
Its “Talkin’ Like Walken” commercial featuring the brand's first fully electric i5 model will run during Super Bowl LVIII on Feb. 11. Together with its lead U.S. creative agency Goodby Silverstein & Partners, the luxury car company tapped three American talents for the 60-second slot, including actress Ashley Park, singer Usher and, as the promotion’s title suggests, actor Christopher Walken, who is the main star.
“Christopher Walken is iconic, as is the 5 Series,” said Rich Silverstein, co-chairman and cofounder of Goodby Silverstein & Partners, in a statement.
“It’s one icon working with another, creating a synergy of two legendary figures,” Mr. Silverstein said. “You wait your whole life to make a campaign like this.”
Driving sales with comedy
Forecasts are placing potential U.S. viewership for the upcoming Super Bowl at over 200 million.
Those tuning in during the first quarter can catch BMW's marketing bit, directed by American filmmaker Bryan Buckley. The Academy Award-nominated cameraman has worked on nearly 70 Super Bowl commercials.
BMW presents “Talkin Like Walken,” its latest Super Bowl commercial
Credited on movies such as Interstellar and this past summer’s Oppenheimer, Dutch cinematographer Hoyte van Hoytema took charge of photography for the automaker's project.
“Talkin’ Like Walken” highlights the BMW i5, a model that builds upon the technology used in previous edition releases (see story).
The :60-second clip combines shots of the vehicle with humor, portraying Mr. Walken as he attempts to enjoy a typical day in his life. Throughout his activities, he is met by a slew of people who imitate his recognizable voice.
Ms. Park, known for her roles in shows such as Netflix's Emily in Paris and Beef, is among those who stop him, attempting to copy his unique speech cadence. The Super Bowl's halftime show performer makes his own cameo.
“When you think about the perfect Super Bowl ad, you quickly realize that there’s a recipe for success,” said Marcus Casey, chief marketing officer at BMW of North America, in a statement.
“Not that it’s easy, but if you start with an exciting new product, an A-List Hollywood star, a great script, and a talented team, and add to that mix, the multitalented Ashley Park, and a global superstar such as Usher, you have the makings of a hilarious, memorable spot.”
The campaign will include social media activations. On TikTok, #TalkenlikeWalken will challenge creators to submit their own impressions of Mr. Walken.
Christopher Walken drives the BMW i5 forward in “Singing”
Two supplementary teasers have also been released ahead of the game.
“I really enjoyed working with BMW, they are a wonderful company and electric cars are important,” said Mr. Walken, in a statement.
“I look forward to sharing the work we did together.”