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May 30, 2006


Great points, Andy. You're right, what you perceive as a 'false rebellion' is exactly what makes this campaign fail. I also agree with you on the 'Beamer' sub-culture that would be 'gold-dust' for BMW if they dared getting in touch with real folks out instead of just creating an artificial 'folksonomy.'

Thanks for the link Tim (and for the article above). Perhaps I was a bit harsh on BMW. I think the idea of opening up their marketing to the public conversation that is their brand (as is anyone's brand) is a good thing. But I think the direction they took it in was pretty mainstream and obvious. It feels like BMW's equivalent to Nike's 'Just Do It' with BMW saying tell us what you 'Just Do' (or in this case, what you don't do).

It feels like such a false rebellion. Nobody buys a BMW to be rebellious and non-conservative. They're almost up their with Audi's and Saab's as the classic doctor/lawyer/dentist car of choice. On the other hand, there is a whole 'Beamer' sub-culture from high-bling hip-hop through to customised second-hand BMW's that are the complete opposite. For me this seems to be gold-dust that BMW are ignoring. Who better to champion the brand than those that are obsessed with it and obsessed with keeping 20-30 year-old models running? People also buy BMW's because of the quality (notwithstanding the current slide) and many "designer-types" (I suppose I might be one... eek) will equally look for the quality of design as much as the style.

Ultimately, the No campaign is by nature negative. But it also missing the point of much social networking. Most of the things that work (Flickr, etc.) work because they offer something - a service, a platform - for their users. BMW did so well with BMW Films because they used their considerable funds to create some really decent content. I can't help feeling they could have rather sponsored a great idea (like Jon Harris's We Feel Fine) or the new Flickr (whatever that might have been) rather than try and corral their own.

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