BMW Marketing Chief: We’ve never gotten rid of ‘Ultimate Driving Machine’

BMW - Joy in Driving
BMW - Joy in Driving / Ultimate Driving Machine

My favorite automotive slogans have long been products of Germany; ‘Vorsprung durch Technic’, ‘Das Auto’, and of course, my all-time favorite, BMW’s ‘The Ultimate Driving Machine’.

Last year, ‘The Ultimate Driving Machine’ ad campaign gave way to a much less technically-oriented one centered around the idea of ‘Joy’. The ‘Joy of Driving’ campaign was featured across all of BMW’s media efforts, and was controversial among the brand’s loyalists, to say the least.

Perhaps it had something to do with the recent split between BMW North America and the ad agency behind the ‘Joy’ campaign, but last week at the 2011 New York International Auto Show, visitors to the BMW exhibit were greeted by an oversized facade with big aluminum letters that read, ‘The Ultimate Driving Machine’. Current head of marketing for BMWNA Dan Creed was quoted as telling AdWeek that the slogan never really went away. “‘Joy’ goes to the question of what it means to drive the ‘Ultimate Driving Machine.’”

That’s an interesting spin on the disappearance of one of the most recognizable and beloved ad-campaigns the automotive industry has ever seen.

With last year’s $160 million ad budget is rumored to have grown by about $20 million for this year, the company is shopping for its next permanent agency, and plans to have one retained by the beginning of the fourth quarter. Though the marketing brief for competing agencies is yet to be completed, Creed has hinted at a common theme of ‘emotion and efficiency’ for the next campaign.

– By: Stephen Calogera

Source: BMW Blog