Videos: BMW ads at the Super Bowl

News | February 7th, 2011 by 11
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BMW returned after ten years to the Super Bowl “ad game” and based on initial consumer reactions, the impact was quite positive. While the first …

BMW returned after ten years to the Super Bowl “ad game” and based on initial consumer reactions, the impact was quite positive. While the first ad featured, as expected, the new BMW X3, the second 30 seconds commercial focused on sustainability and BMW’s Advanced Diesel technologies. The ad featured a Montego Blue 335d showcasing the new diesels and how far they have come in the past 10 or 20 years.

The ad is tasteful, sends the right message without being flashy or picking a fight with the competitors. See below the first reactions on Twitter.

Press Release: BMW returned to the Super Bowl broadcast tonight after a 10-year hiatus, unveiling a strategy that forcefully communicates two competitive advantages of BMW.

bmw super bpwl ad

The first commercial is a poignant piece focusing on BMW’s economic commitment in America as told through the voices of the company’s associates at its manufacturing facility in South Carolina. The second commercial uses humor to showcase BMW Advanced Diesel vehicles as a cleaner, efficient alternative to other types of vehicles.

Twitter reactions:
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“We have two clear messages we would like millions of Americans watching the Super Bowl to know about BMW,” said Dan Creed, Vice President, Marketing, BMW of North America. “Even in the depths of the recession, BMW continued to invest in America, and as the global benchmark for clean diesel technology, we’re challenging stereotypes to show our advanced diesels are part of the future.”

Both these messages will be carried through BMW’s marketing efforts throughout the year. The Super Bowl advertisements also mark the debut of actor Chris Pine from Star Trek in 2009 and Unstoppable in 2010 as the voice of BMW.

The commercial underscoring BMW’s commitment in America, dubbed Defying Logic, showcases the company as a significant contributor to the economy and a vital part of the American automobile manufacturing industry. It was filmed in BMW’s Spartanburg, South Carolina manufacturing facility where all BMW X3, X5 and X6 vehicles are produced and exported to 130 markets worldwide. The advertisement features the new BMW X3 vehicle, which was also designed in America and offers consumers 10 million unique configuration options.

Instead of actors, real-life BMW associates and citizens of the local community, including the Spartanburg High School football team, are featured in the commercial. In the ads, real plant associates note that during the height of the recession, BMW intensified its commitment to U.S. manufacturing with a $750 million plant expansion, as part of an overall $1 billion investment in its U.S. operations. BMW Group’s direct and indirect employment in America is more than 50,000 jobs.

Changes, the second commercial, takes a playful jab at America’s misperceptions of diesel and highlights BMW’s Advanced Diesel vehicles as a cleaner, high-performance, efficient alternative. The ad, set to David Bowie’s iconic melody “Changes,” depicts a truck driver bellowing black smoke, an older-model diesel vehicle sputtering up a hill, and pedestrians surrounded by clouds of filthy exhaust. In the spot, the BMW 3 Series Advanced Diesel makes a grand entrance highlighting its smooth, clean, efficient performance and powers away leaving them all in its dust.

The Super Bowl is one of the world’s most televised sporting events, reaching more than 100 million viewers in one night. BMW last advertised in the national broadcast of the Super Bowl in 2000. Both commercials aired in the second quarter and can be viewed on,, and Video commentary from Trudy Hardy, Manager, Marketing Communications and Consumer Events, BMW of North America, will also be available on

BMW is also running an interactive contest on Facebook tied to the BMW X3 Commitment in America Super Bowl advertisement. The contest, dubbed “The X3 Matchup,” gives viewers the opportunity to guess the configuration of the BMW X3 featured in the advertisement for a chance to win a Grand Prize two-year lease on the vehicle. In addition, the winner will receive a trip for two to BMW’s Spartanburg manufacturing facility to pick up their vehicle and attend a two-day performance driving school at the BMW Performance Center. BMW fans can enter on the BMW USA Facebook page ( through Thursday, February 10.

The commercials were developed by kirshenbaum bond senecal + partners, the media buy was coordinated by UM and the online components were created by Dotglu.

Super Bowl Commercial BMW Diesel Stereotypes

Super Bowl Commercial BMW X3 Defying Logic

BMW Advanced Diesel – Extended Cut

11 responses to “Videos: BMW ads at the Super Bowl”

  1. Russell says:

    That ad would be SO illegal in Australia. Anyone knows that a glimpse of a car powersliding in an ad will force millions of young drivers to go out and drive dangerously (even though the same thing in a movie or computer game won’t have any effect). Any sort of performance driving – even the climb up the hill at the end would have that ad banned before it got near a TV station.
    (Ironically, it’s only car ads that have this affect on youths – a sports utility ad showing brisk driving in a paddock got banned, but a flavoured milk ad showing exactly the same sports utility doing incredibly dangerous stunts on the road is OK…)

  2. Clinton says:

    BMW needs more powerslides in their commercials. There are car companies with less pedigree out sliding BMW in the commercial front.

    The 2 commercials are just OK IMO. Right message, perfect strategy positioning. Not enough creative impact. Nobody is going to talk much about BMW tomorrow. Doritos and Budlight are probably the top dogs tonight.

  3. Tom says:

    i loved the two commercials. i think BMWs building a good start for an increase in advertisement and getting back into the hollywood scene
    cant wait for more!

  4. Bryce says:

    I don’t think the Advanced Diesel ad helped BMW at all. I understand it’s about how diesel has changed, but they show all the dirty nasty diesel vehicles and then when they talk about change they say it’s changed to “quiet” and “powerful.” Wouldn’t it make more sense if the “change” was from dirty to clean, or gas-guzzling to efficient?

    The ad portrays diesel as dirty and gas-guzzling but then mentions nothing about emissions or fuel efficiency. Just awful, in my opinion. It’s not often that BMW gets outdone by Audi, Mercedes, Volkswagen and Bud Light.

    • Scooter says:

      “Quiet” and “powerful” are not adjectives normally associated with diesels, and anyone with even a passing familiarity with BMW is going to want to know that a BMW — ESPECIALLY a diesel BMW — is quiet and powerful. I thought the ad was spot-on, and I applaud BMW getting rid of that guy that used to do the commercial voice-overs… his stentorian voice put me to sleep.

    • Jag says:

      it said “clean, quiet, powerful”. i’m afraid you’d lost the first word.

    • wazon8 says:

      You need to know nearly nothing about diesels, if you think that something should have been said about efficiency. Everybody knows that diesels have become efficient in close 90-ties and in most cases they provide similar performance as n/a engines of comparable capacity with much better fuel consumption. What people could not know about new diesels is that they’re not noisy, that they don’t tow a black tail behind them and that they could provide experience of sportive driving.

      Don’t confuse sportive experience with similarity of performance: in numbers of cases diesel motor can provide similar 0-60mph times to comparable pethrol engines, but the problem with them is that, while they’re driven, they bacome a bit annoying: they have max. torgue at – say – 2100 rpm and max. output at 3700 rpm. In some cases you got last value only on paper and you feel that it’s better not to climb up to 3700 rpm. What’s worse is that in numbers of cases, before you get 2100 rpm your car is almost dead. It accelerates really slowly. I bet that numbers of drivers believe that all diesels share these features. And that’s why BMW put on sportiveness, being clean and quiet. Their diesels are of top notch: they’ve got max. torgue at lower rpm (1600-1700rpm) and climb to 4200rpm (where they get max. output) without any complain. It sounds like not big difference (it looks like you’ve got only few rpm more, on which you can operate), but it makes huge difference during driving.

  5. Laszlo says:

    at least no more JOY bull-crap… I’m glad that’s over.

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