Wednesday, September 25, 2013

BMW reinvented the automobile, KBS+ reinvented the launch

How do you market a car that doesn't exist? What do you say to a consumer who has a reliable alternative in the garage? BMW charged the KBS+ agency with this difficult task and the answer was far more complicated than anyone expected.
To reinvent the automobile from the ground up, BMW took an unprecedented approach to electric vehicles. KBS+ decided this achievement was worthy of a new conversation in bringing the innovation to the public. The result was the dizzying campaign that launched the all-electric BMW i3.
Jacob Harb, head of electric vehicle operation & strategy for BMW, joined KBS+ President Ed Brojerdi at Day 2 of Advertising Week to discuss the process that led to the launch of BMW's answer to the modern automobile.
Starting a bona fide movement
As KBS+ began thinking in-depth about the burgeoning electric vehicle industry, the agency realized passions were incredibly deep among the consumers.
On one side, supporters of electric cars would stop at nothing to get the word out and lobby the government to support their development. On the other, skeptics, traditional car lovers and haters of electric vehicles mounted a fierce campaign to deny and denigrate the entire concept. The creative team of KBS+ began equating the zeal to political and religious movements.
To properly market BMW's invention, the agency would need to start a movement. The movement began with a slick documentary examining the BMW concept and grew into an award-winning display off Bryant Park in New York. By creating a mirror-like system filled with projected light particles, KBS+ was able to transform cars on the street into images of BMW's new electric vehicles on a showroom window. New Yorkers immediately felt the arrival of a new form of communication from marketers. It fit its product perfectly.
Cars worthy of the designation of "invention"
Many automakers have electric vehicles, but nearly every one in production is an alteration of an internal combustion engine (ICE) car. BMW went about its design of an emissions-free vehicle by changing everything from the sustainability of its wood paneling to the amount of recyclable content to the structure itself.
The result was a vehicle that is at least 99 percent recyclable and one that consumed 70 percent less power to build than a traditional BMW. A hydroelectric plant that is entirely sustainable produces the carbon fiber materials that make up the body of the i3. KBS+ realized it could only succeed by marketing sustainability itself. In addition, it would market the car as technology – the most expensive piece of technology the consumer would own.
Bringing technology to the forefront
BMW has made great strides and has joined the likes of Tesla Motors via its innovations in the electric vehicle industry. Once the vehicle is built in large numbers, consumers will begin to get a feel for how technologically advanced this car is.
Data will serve as the bridge between the consumer and the i3, giving drivers the opportunity to interact on a completely new level with an automobile and its manufacturer. BMW expects to give drivers the ability to analyze habits on the road and plan trips – even an entire lifestyle – accordingly.
Innovations this big needed a new form of presentation for the consumer. By redefining the way consumers learned about an automobile, KBS+ forged the proper launch for the all-electric BMW i3.