BMW films: When brands become media

The multi award-winning BMW Films project was one of those rare moments when an advertising campaign is so powerful it succeeds in changing the medium it works within. High budget, all-action and with blockbusting stars like Madonna under the stewardship of A-list directors like Ang Lee, the movies were an instant cult success. They showcased the best in movie-making, and delivered it in the context of a message of brand associatiosn BMW had carefully crafted. By creating compelling media they generated their own self-selecting audiences without the need of heavyweight media spend.

Comments (2)

Tutor: Danny Meadows-Klue:

... and there's a neat bit of insight if you need more on this from the folks at CNET's Tech republic...

...or just relax, sit back and enjoy the ride as you watch the rest!

Back in the summer of 2003, we spoke with the team behind the project, to learn first hand about their thoughts, ideas and aspirations.

BMW’s creative work has been consistently rated as some of the most impactful and ground-breaking online advertising. Claudia Mueller Manager for International Communications and Planning and the BMW Group introduced the concept behind the multi award-winning ‘Films’ campaign. World class directors and actors were brought together through powerful scripts to launch a new type of advertising. A series of films run through the internet quickly developed cult followings and gave BMW a chance to show their cars without restraint. In the first season of the films they had 13m viewers, by the second season this had risen to 40m.

They measured the effect of the campaign on visitors, the brand and the particular Z4 product that was at the heart of the promotion. The key measures were the shifts in brand attitudes that BMW tracked among those exposed to the advertising. From Digital's perspective, the way BMW evaluated their work through research was key. Their conclusion: “Powerful advertising. We reaped rewards beyond what traditional advertising campaigns can offer”. It is clear that this advertising matched the broadest range of marketing objectives and helped define a new form of advertising. People were seeking the message and walking away with a very deep brand experience. And this was only possible because of the internet.

Post a comment

Verification (needed to reduce spam):

Mail the academy managers
or all us today on:
+44 (0)20 7244 9661

1. Choose your topic
Select your Digital Academy

2. Select your level
Are you completely new to this area, confident in the basics, or an expert

3. Email your details
This holds a place for you (with no obligation) and we’ll be in touch

4. Enjoy your DTA pack
Once confirmed, we’ll send you some research to get you started


£695 for non-members
£495 for Academy members

Book two places and enjoy a third for free. Prices are subject to VAT and Digital’s terms.
Public training now means anyone can join the Digital Training Academy