BMW Touts 'Joy,' Value in New Ads
The Wall Street Journal has an article on page B5 of today's paper (Sat. Feb 13). Excerpts are as follows:
"With Americans tightening their belts, BMW AG is parking "the ultimate driving machine" in the garage, at least for a while. The auto maker for years has promoted the power and performance of its cars using that slogan, one of the longest-running and most well-known in the auto industry. But now the company is switching gears. On Friday, it was launching an advertising campaign that focuses on the joy the company says comes from owning its vehicles and suggests BMWs are safe for mothers and children. One print ad uses the tagline "Joy is Maternal" - a departure from past promotions that touted horsepower, handling and acceleration.
In another big change, the campaign features photos of real BMW owners more than shots of its vehicles.
BMW declined to say how much it is spending on the campaign; it said it is the most expensive brand-wide campaign ever in North America for the German auto maker.
The shift in BMW advertising illustrates how makers of luxury autos are trying to alter their messages to fit the mood of America as the country pulls out of the worst economic downtown since the Great Depression.
The new appreciation for frugality and values means companies like BMW have to find new ways of persuading people to pay $30,000, or much more, for a car.
In coming months, BMW's ad campaign will evolve into a value message. It will emphasize the quality of the engineering, vehicle safety, the company's four-year or 50,000-mile free service package and the fuel economy of its diesels and hybrids.
Its latest campaign will still include classic elements: One print ad to appear in the March issue of Vanity Fair will show a black and white photo of Elvis Presley stepping into a BMW 507. Another shows a boy at a steering wheel the slogan, "Joy is Youthful.""
I thought it was an interesting article, and I learned a few things to boot.
1. BMWNA sells cars at the $30K price point.
2. BMWNA sells hybrids
3. There's such a thing as a 507.
Of course, it could be that I'm still asleep and will wake up to realize that this was all just a dream.