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BMW Unveils New Advertising Campaign

'Company of Ideas' Emphasizes BMW's Independence and Innovation

WOODCLIFF LAKE, N.J., May 8 -- With a bold campaign featuring unexpected elements such as all-text ads and clever copy that bashes corporate convention and compromise, BMW's new campaign in the U.S. challenges conventions in automotive advertising as it launches its first creative collaboration with its new advertising partner, Austin-based GSD&M. The campaign, called "Company of Ideas," underscores the automakers peerless independence and freedom to pursue innovative ideas. "Company of Ideas" will kick off May 8 and will appear nationally in newspapers, magazines, primetime television finales, national cable, outdoor billboards and the web.

The dynamic campaign is aimed at the consumers who share many of BMW's principles: an independent spirit, a drive to challenge conventional wisdom and an appreciation for a brand's ability to offer both substance and style. With references to everything from BMW's award-winning Leipzig, Germany plant designed by famed architect Zaha Hadid to the BMW plant in South Carolina, the ad spotlights the fact that more than 50% of the energy used is derivied from methane piped from a land fill more than nine miles away. The "Company of Ideas" shines a spotlight on a side of the premium automaker rarely seen.

The goal of this campaign is to build demand for BMW by reaching consumers who have not historically considered purchasing a BMW while making existing BMW loyalists proud of BMW's success story. The campaign demonstrates that the people of BMW are what make the company a Company of Ideas.

"We are eager to unveil this smart and original campaign that communicates BMW's culture of creativity so thoroughly," said Jack Pitney, Vice President, Marketing, BMW of North America. "BMW has carved out a unique niche in the industry by placing a premium on constant innovation and inspiration and this campaign will reveal the company behind The Ultimate Driving Machine."

"BMW's performance is legendary, but how they get there is an important part of the story as well," said GSD&M president Roy Spence. "They get there through passion and inspiration -- they aren't hindered by idea-killing bureaucracy."

The print ads are unprecedented and differ vastly from most automotive advertising campaigns with the majority of these ads being all text pieces featuring simple but bold copy without any photo of the BMW vehicle. The ads catch the eye with their strong and stunning message. Each of the pieces highlights BMW's autonomy and commitment to protect great ideas and conclude with variations on the phrase, "to make sure great ideas live on to become Ultimate Driving Machines." The ads include:

NO: A simple bold print ad with the word, "No" in large type confidently asserting that BMW has the ability to say "no" to compromise while saying "yes" to innovative ideas. This "all text" ad explains that BMW will do a thousand little things that separate it from all other car companies. By maintaining its independence and ability to say no, BMW can make sure great ideas live on to become Ultimate Driving Machines.

MATCH: Another print ad that features only text, challenges readers to pair luxury car brands with their respective parent companies. The accompanying text explains that not many car companies can say they are beholden to no one. As an independent company, BMW has the freedom to build cars the way it wants to build them. The company can take risks that their competitors may not be able to justify to their parent companies.

AIRBAGS: This print ad features a BMW vehicle and reiterates that ideas are valued at BMW. The ad features a BMW vehicle and tagline, "Ideas don't have airbags to protect them." The accompanying text explains that ideas are highly vulnerable creatures and must be nurtured and protected.

RISKY: A print ad prominently featuring a BMW 7 Series vehicle with the tag line "Not taking risks is risky" sends a strong message that only companies as open to taking risks as BMW can deliver on the promise of the Ultimate Driving Machine. For example, the redesign of the 7 Series in 2002 sparked debate when it was first unveiled. The text of this ad stresses the luxury of autonomy but points out that with freedom comes an obligation to never rest on one's laurels and to trust one's instincts while entering unchartered territory and striving to set benchmarks as BMW did with the redesign of the 7 Series. This ad reminds the audience of BMW's leading-edge vehicle design.

Along with this unconventional print campaign, BMW and GSD&M have also decided upon a well thought out and untraditional media buy. The ads will be placed in lifestyle publications specific to art, design, luxury, environment, travel and sports and includes a presence in magazines such as Architectural Digest, Dwell, GQ, Vogue, Vanity Fair, The Economist, Fortune and Forbes and newspapers such as The New York Times, USA Today and The Wall Street Journal.

Four TV ads will air on network and cable programming, including the season finales of most of the top network shows.

The television ads will highlight the same theme as "No" print ad by portraying the kinds of personalities that create barriers to inspired thought with levity and humor. Each of these ads will conclude with a shot of the state-of-the-art BMW plant in Leipzig designed by Zaha Hadid. Hadid won the coveted Pritzker Prize in 2004 for the creation of the "Central Building," which is the nerve center of the entire factory. The building is emblematic of BMW's philosophy of inspiration and innovation and serves as a symbol of the importance placed on creative ideas.

OVERTHINKERS: The viewer sees images of stuffy corporate types accompanied by a voiceover cautioning them to be wary of overanalyzers who don't see an idea's true potential. A shot of the Leipzig plant is seen with a voiceover explaining, "at BMW ideas are everything." The camera follows the high-tech environment and continues, "We make sure great ideas live on to become Ultimate Driving Machines."

EUPHEMISMS: The ad opens on portraits of typical corporate people looking directly into the camera with a voiceover saying to beware of those who speak in euphemisms. The voice gives examples including, "You've presented some very challenging ideas." It then offers a translation of, "I am scared of your thinking." Another example, "Keep that idea in your back pocket" and its translation, "Your idea is about to die a slow death." The camera again cuts to the celebrated BMW plant in Leipzig and ends with the campaign tagline, "We make sure great ideas live on to become Ultimate Driving Machines."

BENEDICT ARNOLD: This spot opens up with a voice over saying to beware of the "Benedict Arnolds" who originally support an idea, but then turn on it the second the idea meets any resistance. The ad then cuts to the BMW plant at Leipzig ending with the tagline, "At BMW ideas are everything, and as an independent company, we make sure great ideas live on to become Ultimate Driving Machines."

ENEMY OF IDEAS: The spot opens up on corporate businesspeople looking into the camera and a voiceover saying they are the enemy of ideas. They say things like, "Let me play the devil's advocate," or "With all due respect, but ... " and then it cuts to the BMW plant in Leipzig with the tagline "at BMW ideas are everything and as an independent company, we make sure great ideas live on to become Ultimate Driving Machines.

BMW Group In America

BMW of North America, LLC has been present in the United States since 1975. ROLLS-ROYCE Motor Cars NA, LLC began distributing vehicles in 2003. The BMW Group in the United States has grown to include marketing, sales, and financial service organizations for the BMW brand, the MINI brand, and the ROLLS-ROYCE brand of Motor Cars; DesignworksUSA, an industrial design firm in California; a technology office in Silicon Valley and various other operations throughout the country. BMW Manufacturing Co., LLC in South Carolina is part of BMW Group's global manufacturing network and is the exclusive manufacturing plant for all Z4 Roadster and X5 Sports Activity Vehicles. The BMW Group sales organization is represented in the U.S. through networks of 339 BMW passenger car centers, 334 BMW Sports Activity Vehicle centers, 143 BMW motorcycle retailers, 80 MINI passenger car dealers, and 30 ROLLS-ROYCE Motor Car dealers. BMW (US) Holding Corp., the BMW Group's sales headquarters for North, Central and South America, is located in Woodcliff Lake, New Jersey.