Video marketing case study: How BMW created the most watched Canadian car brand film ever

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To generate hype for its latest car series, BMW turned to programmatic and digital media to reach the right people at the right time. This case study looks at how the auto brand managed to generate over 5 million YouTube views in a short span of time through smart, well-timed targeting.


Case study summary

• Car maker wanted to generate maximum impact in Canada for ‘M Series’ launch

• Used YouTube masthead takeovers, native video, mobile, SEM and hundreds of social influencers

• YouTube teaser targeted specific users and environments prior to launch

• Data from teasers used to feed into launch campaign to get high reach on launch day

• Canada now ranked #1 BMW market globally for M sales as video broke viewing records

The challenge

The challenge for the BMW M series went beyond driving viewers to the brand's art video. In order to drive vehicle sales, they needed to connect with the right people at the right time.

The car maker had just enjoyed a hugely successful previous campaign, where 3.3 million people watched BMW drive through walls and 3.8 million were dazzled by BMW’s high-speed performance art.

In order to drive vehicle sales, BMW now wanted more targeted viewership with more impact and more sales.

The solution

BMW built anticipation through teaser videos targeting specific users and environments prior to launch and combined this with engagement & response data. This created audience segments of Canadians highly likely to engage with and share the video. And so, at pre-launch, BMW had stacked the deck for both mass impact and guaranteed visibility with the right people.

Maximum ad exposure to this pre-qualified audience was prioritised across all screens. This increased cost efficiency, shareability and scale by using data to reach the people that count.

Results

By using YouTube masthead takeovers, native video, mobile, SEM and hundreds of social influencers, BMW M’s “drift” became the most watched Canadian produced auto brand film of all time. TV also drove, increased and sustained video views, engaging a new audience and confronting the developing culture of dual-screening.

• Number of views to date 7.2 million (June 2016)

• Mobile + desktop + TV strategy resulted in the largest impression delivery to date

• Canada is now ranked the #1 BMW market globally for M sales (Oct 2015)

• BMW M’s “drift” became the most watched Canadian produced auto brand film of all time (Oct 2015)

Canada is now ranked the #1 BMW market globally for M sales, causing the sales to sky-rocket up to 211% (as of Oct 2015). Views soared to 5.5 million, 26 % were Canadians up from 7% and 11% previously. This campaign is an outstanding example of how building an audience through programmatic and digital media can create mass impact at launch.

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