BMW Brings Joy to the World.

7 12 2009

It’s easy to be cynical about BMW’s Joy campaign, especially for those of us in the marketing industry. However in many respects it is a bit of masterstroke in asking people to reconsider the brand and what it represents, and in the current social and economic climate arguably this is a very cleaver thing for BMW to have done.

In the UK during the boom years, when many people wanted to show how successful they were, one of the easiest and most obvious ways to so was through the car you drove. In this respect nothing played up to an Alpha male mid-level businessman’s ego more than a shiny 5 Series and more junior executives would feel their 3 Series put them ahead of their Mondeo counterparts.

Which was great in terms of sales for BMW, however the world is changing, not just in terms of the recession but also in the way the media has been encouraging people to economise, consume less and be less ostentatious. On this basis if BMW continued to market itself as a prestige brand its messages would increasingly become out of kilter with consumers. Further, with industry under increasing pressure no doubt there would have been a concern that fleet sales would suffer.

So with Joy essentially BMW have in a single swipe given consumers a new reason to consider BMW, and most importantly it is an emotional reason. After all time and again emotion beats logic in the consumer decision making process. No longer does owning a BMW mean “look at me I’m a big cheese” instead the brand is now suggesting it is for people who enjoy life and enjoy living it, with their BMW being one the joy factors in their world.

This is where the campaign really does smart in so much as whilst many people have lost their jobs, the biggest problem the recession has caused for the economy is the undermining of peoples confidence. By doing so, and adding the media’s rush to make thrifty trendy, it is in BMW’s interest to give people permission to enter the showroom, take the plunge and buy the car. Essentially, the Joy campaign does this by telling people “Its OK to enjoy yourself”, it is giving consumers permission to stay loyal to the brand, it is blowing away the businessman stigma and reinventing the brand.

The next masterstroke for campaign comes from the fact that the competition will really struggle to compete on the same basis. Ultimately BMW have grabbed emotion as their USP, and the emotion they have grabbed is Joy. You can’t really see Audi pitching up with “Happy” or Mercedes with “Elated” or Jaguar with “Chuffed to bits” can you?

Overall the timing and execution of GSD&M’s work for BMW has been exceptional.

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