On cars & content

I was struck this week by the dramatic contrast between insight driven communication presenting itself it a 30’ TV spot & the same approach being refashioned for an ‘always on’ landscape.

In my opinion – BMW – a brand synonymous with performance & prestige did some of it’s best work many moons ago. A couple of TV examples below:

Now – taking this into today’s context & you have this piece from last week below:

The styling & setting are nearly identical but the form/content is repurposed to have more in line with the functional/insight driven drama that you’ll find from the likes of The Barbarian Group. The ‘zooming in’ on what’s interesting hasn’t changed but the long form content & storytelling that’s used to dramatize the ’wow factor’ has.

What struck me the most about this BMW spot is that it’s using some pretty heavy budgets (conventionally reserved for 30’ TV work) & it’s being invested in multiplatform content. Much like the wonderful gold cyber lion winner ’Only – The Liberation’.

Today there are just so many other ways to redeploy a budget that can amp up the storytelling, engagement , usefulness & emotional interaction. Arguably we’re now firmly established in what you could call an ’interaction age’ for communication & just a simple look through the car category confirms this. Look at this lovely piece of personalization that let’s you make your own VW Polo:

Or this app that turns a car journey with your kids into something playful & fun – courtesy of Toyota:

These examples are just a very small slice of the content that enables a more emotional interaction between brands/people in what is a very established category. To me it serves up as a reminder that there’s never a more exciting time to drive engagement between brands & people in culture. Everything communicates.  Hell – if engagement for a washing powder can end up being driven like this then surely other categories can take a leaf out of  BMW & Burberry’s book. 

Technology is making new connections more dramatic & innovative than ever.  The only limit seems to be our imagination. It seems like the perfect time to re-educate, be the flag waver, the advocate, the ambassador &  the sort of account handler that has a passion. A passion to take on incumbent business models, build client understanding and create the best possible conditions for truly heretic & insurgent work.

I read a piece last week about how the best thing that could happen to ’digital’ is that the word will disappear. That it’ll become like oxygen. I think Ian Tait opened the Cyber Lions award session with ’WTF does Cyber really mean today?’  And you have to agree that it frames up an interesting discussion when you look around the different categories.

I think on the evidence of the car category it’ll be really interesting to see ’one year on’ from today whether we’re really breathing. And which brands (and their agencies) are oxygenated/innovative & sailing proudly in ’blue oceans’.  And which one’s are just protecting a shrinking bottom line/business model & are left thrashing around in a ‘blood red sea’.


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