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BMW draws new customers with social video push

August 19, 2011

BMW's One Origin, Two originals Facebook campaign


German automaker BMW is pushing its 1-Series vehicles by using the campaign’s social video to welcome visitors to the branded Facebook page.

The video is the hero on the global BMW Facebook welcome page, with the option for first-time viewers to “like” the page featured in the corner. Facebook fans can click through and watch the video, learn more about the contest that produced the campaign stars and create their own videos.

“Social video enables the brand to really connect with influencers in their space and connect at a higher passion level,” said Art Zeidman, president of Unruly Media in the United States, New York.

“Social video implies the sharing and commenting and engaging with video more deeply than just watching it on a television screen or watching it in a situation where it just plays automatically in the middle of another piece of video content,” he said.

“Social video can tap into passions about a brand or about a piece of content that other media cannot.”

Mr. Zeidman is not affiliated with BMW, but agreed to comment as third-party expert.

BMW was not able to respond by press deadline.

Car games

The video is part of the BMW 1-Series campaign, titled “One Origin, Two Originals,” emphasizing the differences and similarities of the two 1-Series models. 

The Facebook video welcomes all new users to the global BMW Facebook page with a headline that reads, “It’s all about character.”

The headline also highlights the “like” button with an arrow.

BMW Facebook welcome page

The currently-featured video shows the behind-the-scenes process that went into picking the faces of the 1-Series international campaign.

Throughout the video, the viewers learn about the social video contest that was used to find the campaign faces, the voting process and hear from the finalists.

The pairs of finalists each speak in a different language with English subtitles.

This was a good way for the brand to highlight its global audience and engage its global customers, according to Mr. Zeidman.

The video links to a microsite that explains the contest further and the resulting campaign at


Driving viewers

By posting the video as the hero of its welcome page, BMW is increasing the reach of the video to new consumers and old consumers alike.

What is more is that by not hiding the video somewhere along the Facebook wall, the brand is ensuring that the video is seen by as many visitors as possible.

The global BMW Facebook page had more than 6 million fans at press time.

The brand was also smart in making users press play to view the video because this ensures that they are interested in viewing the video and offers a greater rate of engagement since they must be looking at this site and not have it minimized, according to Mr. Zeidman.

BMW is also increasing engagement through a Facebook app that is posted under the video.

The app invites consumers to make their own video photo collage and set it to music using tools on the BMW Facebook page.

“Facebook is all about spending time, so my gut tells me this would keep the user engaged for a much longer period of time,” Mr. Zeidman said.

BMW also posted the campaign on its branded international Web site. The 1-Series campaign is one of five featured stories on the homepage.

BMW's international homepage

The campaign information page on the BMW Web site features a call-to-action, encouraging fans to make their own short film through the Facebook app.

“The key [to social video] is in the distribution,” Mr. Zeidman said. “Video content is the most engaging thing a brand can do, so it’s a good idea to have it welcome users to the [Facebook] site.”

“For the brand, social video allows them to take it a step further and reach those people that are hand-raisers and willing to create their own video providing the brand a deeper level of engagement,” he said.

“The deeper you go, the smaller the audience but the more engaged they are and the greater the likelihood [that] they will eventually make a purchase."

Final Take
Kayla Hutzler, editorial assistant on Luxury Daily, New York