BMW i3 Super Bowl Ad Bumps Interest Ten Fold

JAN 30 2015 BY STAFF 11

Last week, BMW announced its return to Super Bowl commercials after a four-year hiatus. The star of the new Super Bowl ad is BMW’s first electric vehicle, the i3.

The Vision Behind The Commercial

The commercial begins with a flashback to NBC’s Today Show in 1994 with Katie Couric and Bryant Gumbel talking about this “new thing” – the Internet. The historical footage focuses on the “@” symbol and email, and how communications apparently travel over the Internet, creating confusion among the popular TV hosts.

*Editor’s Note: This post appears on BMWBLOG. Check it out here.

katie couric gumbel 750x422 BMW USA sees early success with i3 Super Bowl commercial

BMW i3 Super Bowl Ad

Next, the commercial switches to 2015 and puts the spotlight on the BMW i3. Couric and Gumbel are now struggling to understand what the i3 is and even how it was made, bringing back memories from 21 years ago.

bmw i3 super bowl ad 03 750x422 BMW USA sees early success with i3 Super Bowl commercial

BMW i3 Super Bowl Ad

The ad concept for “Newfangled Idea” was devised by our agency Kirshenbaum Bond Senecal + partners,” says Manuel Sattig, Manager, Brand Strategy and Communication, BMW of North America, to BMWBLOG. “We wanted to make sure that we had a spot worthy of a Super Bowl commercial and we immediately knew “Newfangled Idea” was unique. ”

Working With TV Stars

The commercial went through iterations to arrive at the final format, one of them involves more air time for Couric and Gumbel.

“The initial concept of the spot had less of Katie and Bryant today, we all decided that bringing them back and filming more of them in the i3 was just what we needed,” Sattig tells us.

BMW says landing the two TV personalities was an easier task than expected, with both of them loving the idea on the spot.

“We did not have to convince them,” says Sattig. “And when you look at the spot and the behind-the-scenes footage, you can really tell that Couric and Gumbel had a lot of fun during the shoot.”

The Demographic

Sattig went on to explain the message behind the commercial and what BMW hopes to achieve with the Super Bowl ad.

“Electric mobility is at a tipping point and we are on the verge of something great,” says Sattig. “But some people might not be aware of all the possibilities this new form of mobility provides.”

Super Bowl is the most viewed event in the world and a perfect marketing venue when February comes every year. “With one in three Americans tuning into the Super Bowl, it’s the perfect opportunity to raise awareness for e-mobility and the innovations and solutions we have with BMW i,” adds Sattig.

“We love the final ad and it appears the audience does too,” concludes Sattig.

Early Success And ROI

BMW USA says the i3 commercial has already proven to be successful, even though it was released on the web only so far, a week before the Super Bowl.  The spot has received over 4.2M views on YouTube – as of January 28 – and internal metrics point to a successful campaign.

“Over 61% of the traffic that is coming to BMWUSA to build a BMW i3 are new to the site – compared to 47% for other models,” Sattig reveals to BMWBLOG.  “Additionally, people are requesting more information about the BMW i3 at a rate of 10X more than we saw the previous week.”

In the last few years, Audi has been one of the biggest spenders in Super Bowl weekend, but this year the German automaker announced that it won’t participate in the event. So naturally, many have begun to wonder whether Super Bowl commercials still deliver a decent return on investment.

“If your target is to generate awareness and recognition for a product, the Super Bowl is one of the best platforms to create that,” says Sattig. “Please understand that we cannot go further into the details of our investment,” says Sattig when asked about the money invested in the making and distribution of the BMW i3 commercial.

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11 Comments on "BMW i3 Super Bowl Ad Bumps Interest Ten Fold"

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I hope it works out for them. It isn’t the commercial I would have made. But at least I know they are sincere in their efforts to market and sell the car.

I was seriously considering getting an i3 Rex. But I think the new Volt is looking more desirable, especially given the price difference.

Since the commercial was fact free.
It would have been good to have Gumbel list off some of the facts. Saying “I don’t know what that means”.

And then a shot of him accelerating, and saying: “It means FUN”.

What a painfully corny commercial.
It should do well…

Wow, check it out. If you go to right now you would think the i3 is the only car they make. It pretty much dominates their website right now.

I think they should have had him floor the accelerator when he started driving, and had them talk about how they just can’t understand how it can be a car when it zips off so fast (Doesn’t the engine need some time to get moving? What do you mean it has a motor instead of an engine?). If you’re going to make a commercial about how different a car is from every other car, you should spend time talking about things that people will get excited about. This could have replaced the short bit about wind, which has nothing to do with the actual car. They could have even had Bryant say something about how much fun it was to drive and how he would be ok with not understanding it because of how fun and exciting the car is.

Yeah – I found the whole conversation about wind power to be pointless.

I also found this strange, they could have said how fast the i3 is… But what really makes a difference compared to other cars is not the 0-60 mph time, but that it reduces emission already when being produced. I think that’s the reason why the talk about wind power.

And please don’t come with “silent”. Every gasoline Golf 7 is already silent even when compared to the leaf or so…

At 130km/h (around highway speed europe) the noise of the cars is
Golf 7 (1.4 TSI): 67 db
Leaf (2011): 68db
Model S P85: 69db

Did Bryant Gumble have surgery on his face? He looks different to me. Maybe it is just not wearing the glasses.

There are 21 years between then and now.

Humble has a really BAD plastic surgeon

That’s Gumble autospell. Sheesh!