BMW Targets ‘Creative Class’

DALLAS BMW breaks its first TV work from GSD&M on Monday with commercials that compare the luxury carmaker to risk-takers who dare to defy convention.

The new BMW theme “Ideas are everything” derived in part from GSD&M’s alliance with writer Richard Florida, who penned The Rise of the Creative Class. (Florida, who has worked with GSD&M as a consultant, identified the agency’s hometown of Austin, Texas, as the top market for what he calls the “creative class.)

BMW avoids focusing solely on the cars it builds for affluent consumers. Instead, the spots seek to contrast the BMW buyer’s priorities with those of consumers who favor other brands. One ad shows corporate executives crushing their employees’ creative instincts with bromides such as “Choose your battles.”

In a spot that shows architect Frank Lloyd Wright’s famous “Waterfall House” being hit by a wrecking ball, the message is that corporate thinking has no respect for unconventional points of view. BMW, however, does, according to the ads, because it is not under the thumb of an enormous holding company like General Motors, Ford or DaimlerChrysler.

The campaign breaks on cable and broadcast networks during prime-time shows.

In an effort to reach the “creative class” online, GSD&M, which also handles media, is placing ads on sites such as,,, and

GSD&M won the $180 million account in November.

In launching the new campaign, BMW wanted to get away from the traditional commercial that shows a car racing along a street or highway to indicate performance credentials. BMW, which retains “The ultimate driving machine” as its tagline, considers itself the progenitor of such ads.