GSD&M to Launch BMW Campaign of ‘Ideas’ This Week

Dallas BMW will launch its first campaign from GSD&M next week built around the theme that a BMW is not just made of parts, but ideas. The ads continue the long-running theme of the “ultimate driving machine.” TV spots will break on prime-time broadcast and cable on May 8. In an effort to distinguish the brand from the typical car commercial showing a vehicle racing along a highway or city street, some spots will not even show a car, sources said. In the first print ad, a two-page spread in June’s Car and Driver, the only BMW indicator is a small logo in the upper right corner. On the left-hand page is the word “No” in large type. To the right are two columns of text explaining, “The ability to say no to compromise is a rare thing these days. Many companies would like to be able to say it, but so few have the autonomy to actually do it.” The ad closes with the summation: “By maintaining our autonomy and ability to say no, we can make sure great ideas live on to become ultimate driving machines.” When unveiled at a dealer meeting last month, it received a standing ovation, said dealer Tim Smith of Calabasas, Calif. “I’ve never seen that kind of response to print work before,” Smith said. The Omnicom agency, based in Austin, Texas, won the account last November.

Campbell Mithun Retains $100 Mil. H&R Block Account

CHICAGO Campbell Mithun execs breathed a sigh of relief last week as H&R Block opted to keep its $100 million account with the incumbent. “It’s sweeter than any new-business win,” said Jack Rooney, CEO of the Minneapolis agency, of retaining its third-largest account. The IPG shop beat siblings Mullen in Wenham, Mass. (which had handled the online tax preparation service), and Deutsch in Marina del Rey, Calif., as well as Omnicom’s DDB Chicago and Havas’ Arnold in Boston for the Kansas City, Mo., client’s business.

Ford Gets Revved Up for Possible Reality TV Show

New York Ford Motor Co. confirmed it has produced a “treatment” for a reality TV show. The two-minute episode was shown Wednesday when Ford execs met with their top-50 dealers and the heads of 64 dealer-advertising groups in Dearborn, Mich. “The dealers loved it; they were applauding like mad,” said a Ford rep. “And the full intention is to show this to someone, a network, for production. It could be a car-designing show, which would be a natural.” Ford’s affinity for reality TV has paid off big-time in its sponsorship of American Idol, a relationship that will continue next year. Tomorrow, Ford begins a new marketing campaign, “Bold Moves,” with a blitz of broadcast ads.

In New Spot, Land Rover Touts Vehicle ‘Authenticity’

los angeles Seeking to distinguish the “authenticity” of its commercials (and its brand) from computer-generated tricks of trucks thrown off cliffs, running under water and surviving meteor strikes, Land Rover today breaks a spot showing the LR3 loaded aboard a Hercules C-130 transport plane and “navigating” a journey from Nice, France, to the isle of Corsica. The 30-second teaser from WPP Group’s Young & Rubicam Brands, Irvine, Calif., intends to drive viewers to a three-minute online documentary about the feat, said ecd Anthony DiBiase.

Kmart $200 Mil. Media Buying, Planning Shifts to MindShare

BOSTON MindShare has confirmed adding media buying and planning duties for Kmart without a review. The assignment, worth an estimated $200 million, moved to the New York-based agency from its WPP sister shop MediaCom. MindShare already handles media chores for Kmart parent Sears, Roebuck and Co., which last year spent more than $800 million overall in measured media, per TNS Media Intelligence. Media spending on the Kmart brand was $190 million. Sears and Kmart merged in 2005. WPP’s Young & Rubicam in Chicago serves as lead creative agency on Sears. The shop picked up the assignment last October following a consolidation; the work had previously been split between Y&R and WPP’s Ogilvy & Mather, Chicago. WPP’s Grey in New York handles creative on Kmart.

Bridgestone Firestone to Review Broadcast, Planning, Buying

NEW YORK Bridgestone Firestone has hired consultant Pile and Co. to handle a review of its broadcast creative and media planning and buying duties, sources said. Spending for those assignments is about $25 million, according to the proposal request, which was sent to agencies last Wednesday and is due in mid-May. WPP’s Grey here, which has held the account since 1998, and sibling MediaCom are the incumbents; both plan to defend, sources said. Among agencies contacted: The Richards Group, Dallas; JWT, Atlanta; Arnold, Boston; Saatchi & Saatchi, Publicis, Ogilvy & Mather, Lowe, Merkley + Partners, DDB, Deutsch, Euro RSCG, all New York; and EnergyBBDO, Chicago, sources said.

Microsoft’s Massive Offer May Mean More In-Game Ads

New York Microsoft this week is expected to buy Massive Inc., a leading vendor in the burgeoning in-game advertising space, for between $200 million and $400 million. Massive places what are commonly referred to as “dynamic” ads, which rotate within video games that are played via the Internet. It is likely that Microsoft will begin integrating Massive’s ad-serving into more Xbox games, which observers expect will accelerate the growth of in-game advertising overall. “We expect in-gaming to become increasingly integrated in next-gen consoles that, via broadband connections, have the capability to deliver real-time targeted advertising,” wrote Merrill Lynch analyst Justin Post in a report issued last week.

Account Activity

At least three agencies will be briefed tomorrow for Wyeth Laboratories’ $45 million Centrum account, sources said. IPG’s McCann Erickson (a roster shop), WPP’s Grey and Publicis’ The Kaplan Thaler Group, all New York, are contenders. The incumbent, Carrafiello Diehl & Associates, an independent in Irvington-on-Hudson, N.Y., is believed to be defending [Adweek, April 10]. … McCann Erickson has emerged as one of at least six contenders for Ray-Ban, sources said. The client, owned by Luxottica, briefed agencies two weeks ago in Milan, Italy, on the global creative portion of its estimated $30 million account, sources said. Final presentations are set for the third week in May, also in Milan. Other contenders include Omnicom’s TBWA\Chiat\Day in San Francisco and independent StrawberryFrog and Publicis’ The Kaplan Thaler Group, both New York.