BMW drops "The Ultimate Driving Machine" slogan!!!
BMW has used the tagline "Ultimate Driving Machine" for 31 years. During that time its sales in the U.S. have gone from 15,007 units in 1974 the year before the ad slogan began to 266,200 units in 2005. While producing outstanding automobiles during that time may have something to do with the brand's success, no doubt the tagline is considered one of the best in the automotive biz (See Poll Results: Best Tagline Ever - Battle Royale). Regardless, BMW is dropping the successful phrase and replacing it with "A Company of Ideas".
We're of the if-it-ain't-broke-don't-fix-it camp, and Advertising Age has penned a nice article detailing why corporate culture often likes to change a winning slogan. AdAge also lists some of the monumental failures that have resulted. Hopefully we're wrong and BMW sales won't suffer from the new slogan, but we doubt the public will be able to think of Bimmers as anything but Ultimate Driving Machines for a very long time.
__________________ kman: THE CHERRY BOMB GLASSPACK GUY!
GLASSPACKIN SINCE 12/2007
In the August 7 edition of Advertising Age, columnist Al Ries claimed that in an upcoming advertising campaign, BMW would be dropping its legendary slogan “The Ultimate Driving Machine.” Ries was significantly off-base. First of all, BMW has no intention of dropping, altering or in any way moving away from that great line. In the development of the latest ad campaign, the first from BMW’s new advertising agency GSD&M, the issue wasn’t even discussed. Ries took some bad information and then compounded the problem by making poor assumptions based on comments that he did not even try to verify.
The “upcoming” campaign to which Ries referred actually began running more than three months ago, on May 5, in print, TV and online. “The Ultimate Driving Machine” slogan is prominently featured in all of the ads. There was also quite a bit written about the campaign launch in print and online. It appears that Ries was confused by a mention of the overarching theme of the campaign, “A Company of Ideas.” That’s not a slogan, and those actual words don’t appear in the ads in any way that would be confused as a replacement for “The Ultimate Driving Machine.” In the marketing business, it’s known as a positioning statement.” It represents a way of talking about the company, as opposed to a specific slogan that identifies the brand.
BMW is a remarkably innovative company. Their corporate culture, specifically their independence and encouragement of creative thinking and problem solving is what allows them to produce the ultimate driving machine. They are very much a company of ideas and they have the chops to prove it. The ad campaign so misinterpreted by Ad Age gives consumers a look at some of the ways BMW backs up that claim. The two things, a positioning and a slogan are very important but also very different things. The former is a broad theme, the latter a very specific word or phrase. Separate but complimentary. It’s a distinction that any marketing student knows. Al Ries and Ad Age certainly should have too.
To get a better look, check out the “Uniquely BMW” section of www.bmwusa.com.
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