Learning from BMW
I love this film. Is it perfect? No. Is it as good an act of storytelling as it could be? No. But is it a great way to engage you in a motorcycle and appreciate its design, the company that made it and the possibilities of enjoying it? Yes.
So what makes it so good? Firstly it is is not a commercial it is a story about creating a motorcycle. It is a story that engages the motorcycle community. There is Roland Sands, there is the conversation about “working our magic”, these are customizers and yes, that is a girl in the last frame. No more cliches (take heed Triumph and The Japanese) but an acknowledgement that chicks on bikes are cool in their own right.
The design is lovely, it draws on the past while being the future. Technology and machinery. It is customizable and the fact that BMW are ceding control of the final experience of the product to the customer (customizers) is as modern as hell.
It could be shorter, it does not need the look of awe on the face of the guests when the bike is revealed, it does not need the smoking tire sequence but mainly it gets it right. This is a piece of marketing that is wise to the way we now feel about brands. It is not egotistical but it has pride, it places the customer right in the middle of the message and knowledgeably refers to the enthusiastic world of cafe racers and customization that the core audience is very familiar with.
A few weeks ago BMW showed of a concept bike designed with Roland Sands, the U.S. rock star of customization. That was clearly teeing up the idea for this positioning: bikes made with enthusiasts and enthusiasm. It also gives credibility to the design, removes the stigma of corporate ID and gives BMW permission to mine its own heritage as seen by others. The myopia of the marketing department is totally avoided by going outside the company and looking in.
Studioriley is saving its pennies for next spring.