NEW YORK Anyone looking for Mullen to depart radically from the advertising that Ammirati & Purls produced for German automaker BMW will be in for a bit of a dis" data-categories = "" data-popup = "" data-ads = "Yes" data-company = "[]" data-outstream = "yes" data-auth = "" >

BMW plays it safe in first Mullen ads By David Kile

NEW YORK Anyone looking for Mullen to depart radically from the advertising that Ammirati & Purls produced for German automaker BMW will be in for a bit of a dis

In what agency president Jim Mullen and BMW sales and marketing chief Victor Doolan called an “evolutionary change,” television and print ads that break for the company’s new 5-series cars seek to broaden BMW’s appeal to a larger audience than the performance buyer that has traditionally shopped the luxury market.
Mullen’s first TV work is for the new 5-series with BMW’s new V-8 engine. In two TV spots that BMW and Mullen previewed here last week, BMW assumes a somewhat more aggressive stance against the competition, especially versus Lexus, than in previous campaigns done by Ammirati. One ad spoofs Lexus’s much-aped ball-bearing ad, as well as the ad that showed champagne glasses balanced on the hood of a Lexus LS400. And in an attempt to solidify BMW as the driver’s car, another ad, which could be directed at either Lexus or Acura, pokes fun at the oft-touted isolation and quiet of those cars. The theme, carried through in print ads as well, is, “Their sense of the road reduces the competition to senseless luxury.” BMW’s venerable “Ultimate Driving Machine” tagline appears in print ads, but was absent from the TV (BMW doesn’t always use the line in TV spots).
BMW manager of marketing communications Elizabeth Ann Zacarian noted that just 4 out of 85 respondents in a poll identified BMW with safety and environmental responsibility, and said the creative strategy is, in part, intended to better reach women buyers, especially for models priced above $30,000. “We do all right with women buyers, but we see the opportunity to do much better,” said Zacarjan. Doolan has two women marketing staffers reporting to him: Zacarian and business planning manager Marie Paret. Paret is working on some special marketing programs with self-styled marketing guru/ prognosticator Faith Popcorn.
Zacarian, a former media executive at Time-Warner, perhaps not surprisingly opted for a media-buying service at the time of the review, and chose DeWitt Media. According to president Gene DeWitt, BMW will be in fewer print titles, and in less sports programming than has been the case. “BMW’s budget is the same, but because of the efficiencies we are ereating, they will have greater frequency in more focused outlets,” DeWitt said.
Copyright Adweek L.P. (1993)