BMW gets creative with Tablets

Posted: February 28, 2013 in Uncategorized

This video in 1:44 seconds shows how powerful technology can be for advertisers, especially small, inexpensive tablets (granted… with the help of a large projector).  Participants used a Galaxy Pad tablet to log into their Facebook account and then used an application to connect to the BMW game being projected.

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This tactic was designed for a huge marketing campaign for the BMW 1 series in South Africa.  Five of these projectors were set up in five of the highest traffic locations to draw in the largest crowd possible.

  • Sandton, Johannesburg
  • Greenside, Johannesburg
  • Florida Road, Durban
  • Long Street, Capetown
  • Melville’s centre, Plettenburg Bay
    (They also used a radio campaign to get the word out about these locations)

The main point of the campaign was to use social media and buzz to get the word out about the new BMW.  People would go to these locations, log in to an application on their tablets or phones using Facebook and be instantly connected to the racing game on the projector.  High scores would be posted on the BMW Facebook page and individual scores could be shared on people’s own Facebook.

What really made this interesting (Besides the fact you got to race cars around on a giant screen in the middle of a city being watched by hundreds of people) was that BMW was giving away prizes in the form of the product it was advertising, the BMW 1 series… for playing an awesomely fun game.

The target for this campaign was of course those within a bit higher income bracket, because it is a BMW after all, but what the “target” of this tactic was, was to get the word out.  The statistics they have for that campaign was that it was shared with 105,300 people.  This was apparently calculated by the fact there were 810 shares of this on facebook with the average user having 130 friends, it was seen by 105,300 people.  With an additional 45,060 shares of scores and the like on peoples own Facebook.  Its just math!

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As for the success of this campaign its actually hard to say.  I could not find any articles saying if this mobile stunt helped sell more Series 1 cars but it did send quite a ripple through the digital mobile world.  People love interactive campaigns and this was clearly a well executed tactic that caught the attention of those who participated any advertisers everywhere.  So from my own opinion I would say this was a very successful campaign for BMW.  It places them as an up-to-date, slick company that is connected with its users and the world.  People are quite annoyed with normal advertising these days and it is now up to advertisers to entertain the public while showing them their brand.  You must be memorable and unique… and if I got to drive on a huge projector screen in the middle of a city with the potential to win a BMW… well I would remember that.

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And I think that is exactly what they intended with this application.  Simply to draw attention to its new BMW cars.  They wouldn’t expect anyone late at night to play this game then go straight to a dealership to buy a car.  But to get people talking about this event “that BMW put on”.  If it gets to the right ears of someone who is interested in a new car and likes BMW, then that is exactly what they were looking for, buzz.

“Hey buddy how was your night!?”
“Totally rad bro! I got to drive this cool game on a giant projector downtown!”
“Woah what!?”
“Yea BMW had this game on a tablet…” etc. etc.

You would totally want to tell someone about this if you experienced it firsthand.  It was the perfect tactic for creating social buzz.  It was fun, and you definitely knew it was BMW.  So if BMW was out to create buzz and a talking point, they certainly hit and exceeded the mark on this one.  Many brands could learn from this campaign.  Its not about telling potential customers who you are and what you are, it is about engaging them fully.  Embracing mobile technology like BMW did is key for any large brand to survive these days.

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