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May 13, 2009

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"Expression of Joy" is the underlying theme of BMW's Z4 marketing campaign

BMW sought an innovative approach for the launch of the all-new BMW Z4 Roadster, and had to look no further than its rich legacy of commitment to art for inspiration. The result, an aesthetically powerful marketing campaign entitled "Expression of Joy," rolls out in early May. The campaign, which relies heavily on vibrant video content, includes an MSN.com homepage takeover on May 11 with which BMW will be the first advertiser to make use of the Web site’s new feature - an expandable video unit that will allow users to view the BMW Z4 spot in full-screen mode. Also, the conventional 30-second spot is complimented by a 30-minute documentary.

At the heart of the campaign, created by BMW’s Austin, Texas-based agency GSD&M Idea City, is an artistic collaboration between BMW, contemporary artist Robin Rhode and filmmaker Jake Scott. Rhode choreographed the movements of two BMW Z4 Roadsters mounted with special paint dispensers behind the wheels to create a football-field size painting, while Scott captured all the action with 40 simultaneous camera angles.

A 30-minute documentary that offers a behind-the-scenes look at the making of the Rhode piece, as it was directed by Scott at Downey Studios in Los Angeles last November, forms the centerpiece of the campaign. The documentary will air on Discovery HD Theater at 8 p.m. Eastern Time on May 10, with subsequent multiple airings on the network through May and June. Additionally, a tie-in with TiVo will extend the reach of the documentary by allowing TiVo users to preview and record it for later viewing.

The BMW Z4 campaign’s online presence will rely exclusively on video-based assets, to bring the performance art to life online. Video banners will run from May 8 – June 30 on leading news, business and lifestyle Web sites, including CNN, CNN Money, Dow Jones, Yahoo!, Condé Nast and Wired.

National print pieces, many with unique creative treatments, will be published in May and June issues of art, lifestyle and design magazines, including Art & Antiques, ArtNews Esquire, W, and Elle Décor. Notably, an eight-page, photo feature-style insert, written and photographed by actor Dennis Hopper, will run in the June issue of Vanity Fair, and a cover page takeover is slated for the June issue of Dwell magazine.

An out-of-home component is planned for the nation’s busiest airports in ten key markets for BMW. The airport billboards feature representations of the Rhode piece alongside images of the BMW Z4 with headlines that read, “Expressionism meets Exhilarationism,” “Not all artists are depressed” and “Rarely does the paintbrush rival the painting,” or the succinctly stated “Art Movement” and “Muse.”

While the core of the campaign breaks in May, some elements that laid the groundwork for the campaign began to appear as early as late-March, including: a public art installation featuring the Rhode/Scott collaboration at New York City’s Grand Central Terminal from March 25–April 6; an iPhone application that lets users replicate Rhode’s experience of creating artwork with the BMW Z4 as “paintbrush;” and the launch of the BMW Z4 micro-site www.expressionofjoy.com. Additionally, special video spots are now running in mainstream and independent movie theaters nationwide – a 30-second spot prior to the house lights going down and a two-minute cinematic piece as a lead-in to the feature presentation.

The new BMW Z4 Roadster goes on sale May 9 with a base MSRP of $46,575.

(May 8, 2009)


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