GSD&M Unveils BMW 3 Series Effort

LOS ANGELES A new spot for the BMW 3 Series breaking tonight furthers the brand’s creative goal of making its advertising “more emotional and expressive,” said Mark Ray, group creative director at Omnicom Group’s GSD&M Idea City in Austin, Texas.

The 30-second spot, “We Built the Car,” shows the 3 Series in Soweto, South Africa, where enthusiasts “spin” cars as a sort of underground street sport. The commercial also shows pop artist Roy Lichtenstein applying Ben-Day dots in his studio and cuts to a completely treated beamer. It uses a clip of Andrew McCarthy and Molly Ringwald necking in the glow from the headlights of a 3 Series model in Pretty in Pink, and shows a simulated BMW in the Gran Turismo 4 game.

A voiceover says, “We didn’t intend to be a part of any subculture or pop culture. We didn’t set out to play games or to start a religion. We just made the car. The BMW 3 Series: Another expression of independence from a company built on it.”

Jay Russell (art direction) and Wade Alger (copy) worked under gcds Ray and David Crawford, along with associate creative directors Jeff Maki and Mike Ferrer.

Dana Christiaansen, Plum Productions, Santa Monica, Calif., directed.

“The strategic objective is to take what BMW is about—the brilliant vehicles, the dynamic high performance—and present it in a new way,” said Lee Newman, GSD&M svp, account director. “Though the 3 Series is highly considered in the segment, we’re positioning it as an iconic vehicle with a storied past, celebrated in different ways.”

Added Ray, “We will continue to amplify the emotional power in our advertising, not just for the 3 Series but in the first hydrogen-car work. We’re using television to its best advantage.”