Bob Garfield Hates New BMW Campaign, We Have to Like It

bmw_ideas.jpg

Bob Garfield hates the new BMW campaign from GSD&M which, of course, means we have to like it. Bob thinks GSD&M's use of the bureaucracy-kills-ideas concept with images of old, retro boardroom dudes portrayed as pompous fools without a good idea left in their bones reflected against BMW's refreshingly idea-centric, independent approach is really, really bad. He goes on to explain how that concept is old are tired and how it mirrors a creative process he claims had something to do with killing what could have been a good concept. All potentially true.

However, this campaign is simple. It has one message: Other car companies are too old, stodgy and fat to create anything resembling a new idea. BMW is new, fresh and full of new ideas. Granted, as Bob mentions, none of those new ideas are mentioned in the spot - a not so un-important point- but how many more car ads do we need that list off all their cool, new features like seats with a built in toilet so you don't have to stop at a rest area limiting your Ultimate Driving Machine experience? Sure, it's all a bit too simplistic and cliche but, as we've already said, Bob hates it so we have to like it. And, we kinda do.

by Steve Hall    Jun- 6-06   Click to Comment   
Topic: Brands, Campaigns, Creative Commentary, Good, Opinion, Television   

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Comments



Comments

i hate them, too.

it's like that moment when you say you're cool, you're not.

too much set-up. payoff leaves little to be desired. not exciting enough for BMW. not fun enough. GSD&M is missing the mark here on what BMW drivers love about their cars. terrible job on VO casting, too.

Posted by: DJiLLPAPA on June 6, 2006 12:03 PM

i hate them, too.

it's like that moment when you say you're cool, you're not.

too much set-up. payoff leaves little to be desired. not exciting enough for BMW. not fun enough. GSD&M is missing the mark here on what BMW drivers love about their cars. terrible job on VO casting, too.

Posted by: DJiLLPAPA on June 6, 2006 12:04 PM

i hate them, too.

it's like that moment when you say you're cool, you're not.

too much set-up. payoff leaves little to be desired. not exciting enough for BMW. not fun enough. GSD&M is missing the mark here on what BMW drivers love about their cars. terrible job on VO casting, too.

Posted by: DJiLLPAPA on June 6, 2006 12:05 PM

Yup, these ads are unbelievably bad. Especially when you consider that BMW is not the most cutting-edge car company out there -- just pick any Japanese car maker and you'll see more radical ideas implemented into automobile design. Garfield got it right, there's nothing relevant here for BMW.

Posted by: Johnny B. on June 6, 2006 1:16 PM

I think the new ads are great. They are definitely different than what's out there right now for Benz and Lexus. The concept of being a privately held company definitely appeals to me; especially having gone through take overs by Publicis and IPG. When that happens the soul of your agency is removed and it's not about the best idea, it's about the best idea in the 9 budgeted hours :) I'm not suprised Garfield doesn't like the ads, but I am surprised that Steve does. If there is one thing both AdRants and Adage have in common it's their love for CP+B; on that principle alone I figured they'd both hate the ads.

Posted by: Phil T. on June 6, 2006 1:43 PM

I think the new ads are great. They are definitely different than what's out there right now for Benz and Lexus. The concept of being a privately held company definitely appeals to me; especially having gone through take overs by Publicis and IPG. When that happens the soul of your agency is removed and it's not about the best idea, it's about the best idea in the 9 budgeted hours :) I'm not suprised Garfield doesn't like the ads, but I am surprised that Steve does. If there is one thing both AdRants and Adage have in common it's their love for CP+B; on that principle alone I figured they'd both hate the ads.

Posted by: Phil T. on June 6, 2006 1:46 PM

when a typical consumer buys an ipod, are they buying it for its design and functionality ("it looks cool and it works great!") or because they know steve jobs and his cohorts are running the company that made it?

sure, the creative class is going to get this ad (does seem like it was born out of an ad industry inside joke). but even so, are they going to be moved by it? does this really make you want to buy a BMW now? when you brag about your new car, do you say, "oh, well, the company that made this baby right here is privately held. take that. beat that."?

these new ads just don't hit you in the gut. and the BMW brand to me is all about passion and excitement and driving just for the hell of it (http://www.bmwcca.org/). GSD&M doesn't even show driving footage of the cars! these ads play more like a boring PSA that even a respectable station like PBS would just be forced to put on air. and if there's one thing these ads do well, it's skew BMW toward an older demographic and away from younger intenders (which, i don't think is part of the gameplan)...

Posted by: PCPC on June 6, 2006 2:56 PM

Well, Phil, we did say we HAD to like it because Bob didn't which doesn't necessarily mean we're in love with the ads:-)

Posted by: Steve Hall on June 6, 2006 6:13 PM

PCPC

So let me ask you this then, do you find the new CPB VW ads to be good? Do they make you want to buy a VW?

I get what your saying about the BMW ads, there is a lack of emotion being created that doesn't make you want to run out and buy one. But, do BMW owners run out and by them? You are talking about 45 - 60 year olds that have enough coin to get one and most of who, also work in corporations, many of which are publically owned. I think when you consider the target the idea that no idea is a bad idea because we don't answer to the "street" is compelling.

Posted by: Phil T. on June 7, 2006 11:48 AM

the CP+B VW ads are certainly entertaining. are they gonna be classics like Arnold's work in the '90s? i don't think so, but i think they are definitely better than the current BMW ads. they retain at least some "coolness" factor that helps keep the VW brand young and top-of-mind. but i know for a fact that VWs are pieces of shit--they're the most unreliable European imports in the US market. and that's why VW sales fell toward the end of its run with Arnold. it wasn't necessarily the agency's fault. even though VW sales are up right now, until VW rolls out products on par with its made-to-last Japanese counterparts, this will always be a case of the product needing to catch up with its advertising.

now if BMW is targeting consumers based solely on demographics (the 45-60 year old corporate shill set) then they're doing something wrong. if that's the case, BMW, i implore you to ask Fallon to take you back and let 'em have fun with your brand again... or at least ask GSD&M what their account planners are smoking.

Posted by: PCPC on June 7, 2006 12:19 PM

Who should the be targeting? With base models selling for >30K and most models well over 40K it's not like they can go after the 19 yer old college student :)

Posted by: Phil T. on June 7, 2006 12:40 PM

Here's the deal: BMW = Ultimate Driving Machine. It does not equal: Independently owned company where good ideas aren't killed. The latter message could be said by hundreds if not thousands of companies. Only one company can say "Ultimate Driving Machine" and they failed to remind people of that. So the ads are totally off message and don't build on the good work done in the past.

My dos centavos on the VW ads by CP+B is that they're all over the map, they're aimed at 19 year-old boys and that some are entertaining while others are horrendous (the car crash spots being the worst). In the long run, these ads will not be good for the VW brand.

Posted by: Johnny B on June 7, 2006 12:44 PM

if GSD&M is writing me a check, then i'll gladly help them and their client figure out their target market. tell me something though, do you think this is meant for 45-60 year old corporate suits:

http://www.bmwusa.com/uniquelybmw/BMW_Art/films.htm

Johnny B's right on the money: BMW = Ultimate Driving Machine. the films reminded us of that. the use of exhilarating driving footage in BMW spots of old did that. being showcased in the movie The Transporter and Ronin did that. their driving school in Spartanburg, SC does that. BMW enthusiast magazine, Roundel, too. these current ads DO NOT.

Posted by: PCPC on June 7, 2006 2:04 PM

GSDM fell flat on their face, and so did the guy who pulled the account from Fallon. The mountain doesn't come to Mohammed. Every beginning marketer knews that. Well, apparently not every. The last thing BMW should do is be defensive. The work doesn't even look good. And this "is your SUV really a truck?" stuff makes no sense at all. GM SUVs are based on truck frames. Not so for BMW's competition. In fact, even GM SUVs handle pretty well these days. They're trying to address a problem that no longer exists, not even at the low end of the market. Every way possible they've taken a huge step backwards. Shame on the advertising/marketing managers at BMW. Shame on GSDM.

Posted by: jerry fields on November 1, 2006 1:56 PM

GSDM fell flat on their face, and so did the guy who pulled the account from Fallon. The mountain doesn't come to Mohammed. Every beginning marketer knews that. Well, apparently not every. The last thing BMW should do is be defensive. The work doesn't even look good. And this "is your SUV really a truck?" stuff makes no sense at all. GM SUVs are based on truck frames. Not so for BMW's competition. In fact, even GM SUVs handle pretty well these days. They're trying to address a problem that no longer exists, not even at the low end of the market. Every way possible they've taken a huge step backwards. Shame on the advertising/marketing managers at BMW. Shame on GSDM.

Posted by: jerry fields on November 1, 2006 1:57 PM





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