Publicis/Bloom Compares Upkeep Costs for BMW

By Glen Fest

DALLAS–Publicis/Bloom in Dallas has launched its first creative for BMW North America by utilizing a heretofore unconnected cost comparison.

Touting the free maintenance program offered by the German automaker to new BMW owners, Publicis/Bloom broke out the calculator to contrast the scheduled upkeep of a flashy red 328i convertible and a pet goldfish–with the car coming out the winner.

P/B, which heads BMW’s Southern region account estimated at $15 million, broke the spot last Friday in Corpus Christi, Texas, and will roll it out in 10 states over the next several weeks to counter the client’s high-cost identity unearthed in market research.

‘Our mission is to overcome the obstacles to buying a BMW,’ said agency co-chairman and executive creative director Seth Werner. ‘One of those (barriers) is the perception that the cars are expensive to maintain.’

With BMW offering a three-year/36,000 mile free maintenance program for its vehicles, the agency shows that buying regular items for a goldfish’s preservation outstrips the cost of a BMW’s care.

Viewers see ‘Snowball’ inside a $10 fishbowl, soon surrounded by products such as a scooping net and treats that add up to $50. As each item pops on screen with its price, a voiceover notes, ‘See, with scheduled maintenance now standard, it could cost $50 more to maintain your goldfish than your BMW.’ The narrator corrects himself when the next scene shows the now-deceased Snowball about to be replaced by a 99-cent ‘Snowball II.’ ‘Make that $50.99,’ the voiceover concludes.

The ad incorporates the ‘Ultimate Driving Machine’ theme from BMW lead agency Fallon McElligott, Minneapolis, and will air in spot markets across the South, including Texas, Oklahoma and Louisiana. It will also be available for dealers in other regions, according to Werner.

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