Mendelsohn/Zien, BMW Head for the Mountains

Mendelsohn/Zien’s latest TV commercial for BMW could take a road trip beyond its home turf in the automaker’s Western region.

The 30-second spot, titled “Dictionary,” began airing last week in Los Angeles, Denver and the Bay Area, among other cities. Promoting the BMW 3 Series, it could be picked up by other regional offices, agency representatives said. A print component is expected to launch in the coming weeks.

M/Z, which handles regional creative work, developed the ad using footage supplied by Fallon, Minneapolis, BMW’s national creative shop. Optimedia, New York, handles media on the estimated $25 million account.

M/Z, which has handled BMW’s Western regional work for more than eight years, opted this time around for plenty of action. “There wasn’t a lot of text. It’s visually compelling, and I think the message says a lot,” said Steven Piano, group account director at the Los Angeles agency.

The spot opens with a BMW 325 zipping along a mountain road with a backdrop of stormy weather, its engine roaring through adrenaline-inducing turns. The ad then freezes, with the car seemingly stopped in its tracks. A brief text message appears, indicating the series’ starting price of $27,635.

The ad also displays the client’s Web address, www. bmw, and suggests viewers visit a dealer for a test drive.

The classic tagline remains: “The ultimate driving machine.”

If the spot does roll out beyond the West, it won’t be the first time. M/Z president Richard Zien has said BMW airs its regional advertising in other areas “quite a bit” and that such moves are “consistent with [BMW’s] system.”

The M/Z team included creative director Jordin Mendelsohn, executive producer Brittany Stevenson and editor Bill Marmor.

M/Z’s 1993 BMW win put it back in the auto business after handling Acura dealers for several years.