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Home / Technology / BMW creates controversy with ‘awakened’ and explosive promo video

BMW creates controversy with ‘awakened’ and explosive promo video

German car giant BMW has outraged motorists with a controversial “bull *** t” online marketing video that critics say mocks its older core baby boomers and drops one of the company’s most successful flagship limousines – the classic 7 Series.

It can also hit sales when motorists take to social media to say they took the insults “personally” and do not want to buy another BMW.

One commented: ‘It’s like they really HATE people who have one of their older cars. And by ‘older’ I mean the team before 2017. ‘

The insulting video – created to highlight BMW’s high-tech intelligent ̵

6;iDrive’ system in its new electric iX sports car – has outraged and mystified consumers who have questioned what the car giant seeks to achieve by undermining its proud heritage by attacking a legendary car which helped cement the company’s success.

It also seems to stir up generational conflict, and portrays baby boomers – born from 1946 to 1964 – as an angry, narrow-minded, sting in the mole generation who does not ‘listen’, condemns modern ideas such as ‘ox *** t’, and evokes the answer : ‘It’s almost impossible to talk to your generation. ‘

The video has been posted on BMW’s website and shared on social media, including Twitter and YouTube, as part of the participation in the high-profile global Consumer Electronics Show (CES 2021) which is currently taking place online.

But it has been dismissed as delivering a grossly condescending and ‘awakened’ message that has prompted some to go on social media to say they do not want to buy another BMW.

It even made an owner ask if ‘everyone in Munich’s marketing department is hopelessly hooked on cracking?’

Critics point out that the history of the baby boomer generation – with progress made since the ‘permissible’ 1960s in all areas of social, political, cultural and technological life – shows that this portrayal could not be further from the truth.

Some longtime BMW customers took to social media to announce that as a result of such attitudes, they would look elsewhere to buy their next car, with one saying outright, ‘We’re out.’

The video, designed to promote the latest version of iDrive to appear in the upcoming iX electric SUV, has been posted on YouTube and BMW's website, and shared on social media

The video, designed to promote the latest version of iDrive to appear in the upcoming iX electric SUV, has been posted on YouTube and BMW’s website, and shared on social media

In a statement, BMW-based BMW said: ‘This film was created by BMW AG to mark the development of iDrive over the last 20 years, when the next generation system will be unveiled in the spring.

‘However, this clip is intended for certain world markets and does not run in the UK or US.’

However, the statement seems to fly in the face of facts.

It ignores the fact that the BMW used on Twitter is eagerly read all over the world and especially in the UK and US.

It also raises the question of why the car characters involved spoke English and with American accents.

It is also contrary to the fact that BMW explicitly states on the website and in the posts that the clip is connected directly to the American organized Consumer Electronics Show.

BMW later confirmed that the infringing video had been posted on BMW’s global Twitter account – @BMW – run by its parent company BMW AG in Munich and available to users anywhere in the world, including the UK and US.

However, it seemed that the British and American arms of BMW were trying to distance themselves from the move, as the video was not published by the local national Twitter accounts – @BMW_UK and @BMWUSA – intended specifically for customers in these places.

The line follows a previous BMW controversy in November when the company’s marketing gurus posted a tweet in response to the individual’s criticism of iX’s styling on YouTube, and misled the supposed older customers with the ‘OK, boomer’ jib – which led to a huge setback.

Commentators questioned the motive behind the tweet, especially considering that baby boomers account for about half of BMW’s sales – especially in the US main market.

On three occasions, the 'grumpy' old BMW repeats the same explosive in the fantasy conversation between the two cars

On three occasions, the ‘grumpy’ old BMW repeats the same explosive in the fantasy conversation between the two cars

BMW’s latest video campaign uses exaggerated explosives

At the heart of the new line is an online video claiming to show an imaginative argument between two rival BMWs in one of the company’s car parks – a brand new and recently launched all-electric iX sports car and a historic petrol-powered 7-series limousine from 2001 – which facing bumper to bumper. Both have American accents.

The implication seems to be that the iX represents the present and the future, while the 7 Series – and its customer base – will be sent to the past.

As if to reinforce this point, the voice of the 7 Series is portrayed as an older, grizzly, grumpy and dirty man with old-fashioned, firm and inflexible attitudes who only likes’ real cars’, repeatedly rejecting modern technology such as’ bull *** t ‘, and describes 21st century electric vehicles as’ toy cars’.

In stark contrast, the iX’s character is of a young “smarter, better” and seemingly enlightened female voice who refers to the older car as a “grandfather” who has “sniffed at the gas pump for too long” and says uncompromisingly: ‘Your time is over.’

The award-winning BMW 7 Series has been the flagship of the BMW Series for decades, loved by industry captains and successful entrepreneurs, and with armored versions even used by Downing Street and the Metropolitan Police during the Blair years in government and beyond.

But anyone who expects a respectful nod to the past is in shock.

At one point, the female voice iX says to the older male car: ‘Of course you do not understand. It’s almost impossible to talk to your generation. Anyone can talk to me. ‘

She adds: ‘I am the intelligent personal assistant. Do you know what I mean? Intelligent.’

The grumpy older generation car can only answer with ‘bull *** t’ and ‘marketing bull *** t’.

The best he can offer in response is ‘I can drive really fast.’

The new car then emits several jibs such as “you just do not hear”.

The tone and content of the short film has furious motorists and BMW customers of all ages – who also claim that the classic BMW 7 Series is a far more elegant proposal than the fresh new iX with its cartoon-like giant grille.

Leading car driver Hilton Holloway, who writes for Autocar, the world’s longest-running car magazine, said bluntly about BMW: ‘All’ old people are outdated ‘are incredibly stupid.’

A Twitter user Matt Robinson asked: ‘WHAT is it trying to convey? That BMW’s new, disgusting products are complacent, complacent asshats? That the old cars are all GAMMON ?! It’s just AWFUL. And yet it makes me have an E65 760Li. ‘

He added: ‘It’s like they really HATE people who have one of their older cars. And by ‘older’ I mean made before 2017. I honestly take this video personally. I was a BMW man this YEAR. Not any more.’

He later asked if the reason for the bizarre marketing video was because ‘everyone in Munich’s marketing department is hopelessly hooked?’

Richard Aucock, chairman of the UK’s respected Guild of Motoring Writers, also highlighted BMW’s bull ‘t’ video, describing it as’ crazy ‘and adding:’ Hope some marketing experts can correct me and explain why this is actually ground breaking genius. ‘

Another Twitter user, ‘Bahnstormer Tom’, said: ‘What is BMW doing? You do not make a 760Li and your legacy so and escape. I have owned more BMWs than any other brand and feel that they have alienated people like me. I will never buy a new BMW. Strange marketing strategy. That said, it got us talking. ‘

Simon Charlesworth, in a cutting reference to businessman Gerald Ratner – who saw his business break down after rejecting the jewelry his company sold to gullible customers as “shit” – said: “Even Gerald Ratner would think this was incredible”.

Another, Colin Isaac, said: ‘One wonders if they have hired Gerald Ratner as a brand consultant …?’

A critic posted on Twitter the latest slogan for BMW – ‘The ultimate driving machine’ – was destroyed and paraphrased to read: ‘The ultimate WOKE machine’.

Andy Sherrat said: ‘I’m starting to think that Mercedes or Audi are currently paying for BMW’s social content. Can’t find an alternative reason! ‘

Top Automotive PR PR Hale said: ‘If BMW were a person, you would be convinced that they were in a full-fledged crisis in mid-life.’

To which car supporter Alan Bradley replied: ‘If BMW were a person, you would think they had spent too much time around the White House.’

Private car rental manager James R. Williams said: ‘My 14 year old 760 Li drives beautifully and it can get me to the south of France with a few minutes on a petrol pump, the beginner has a long way to go before it can offer that performance. ‘

Ananda Roy said: ‘After 15 years of owning several BMWs – almost everything from new specified to our needs and usually 2/3 cars in the household, we are out. It happened organically. Love the driving dynamics, but others have also come a long way, and the interior and exterior design are pretty weird. ‘


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