BMW's experiential push targets wealthy urbanites

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The campaign targets high-earning professionals
The campaign targets high-earning professionals

BMW of North America is targeting the power lunch crowd with the new BMW X6 campaign.

A 3-D virtual vehicle tour — a walk-in box containing hologram images of the car's interior — debuted at the World Financial Center in New York's finan­cial district on April 21. More animated hologram sites, which are equipped with lead-generation capture capability, will move to other targeted areas around the city, chosen for their high traffic from the high-earning professionals that make up BMW's key audience.

“We wanted to do things differently,” said Shawn Ticehurst, marketing and events communications manager for BMW North America, “Traditional advertising would not be a way to reach this audience directly.” Ticehurst added that the audience is predominantly male and relatively affluent.

David Matathia, VP and idea team director on the BMW account at GSD&M Idea City, said the team identified target markets through competitive benchmark­ing — profiles of owners of vehicles that might be cross-shopped with the X6 — and existing BMW owner data. GSD&M Idea City, which has served as the national AOR for BMW North America for more than two years, also considered vehicle attributes, such as power and design.

“The campaign is laser-targeted at a very unique and specific mindset,” Matathia said. “This allowed us to be incredibly selective with our media and venture into some new and different channels.”

The campaign officially kicked off in January with a teaser Web site, which allowed viewers to opt in for a series of e-mail updates on the vehicle. The full campaign started in April and is slated to run for several months.

Other aspects of the campaign include ads on the Captivate Network, which runs on digital screens in the elevators of premier office towers. BMW has also part­nered with CNBC: An image of the car will “drive” across the top of the screen as a reverse stock ticker, and the sport-coupe will also be featured on an edition of Power Lunch. Online, BMW will is sponsoring the investment research site Morningstar.com, providing free access to subscription content for a week.

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