Ever since the advent of social media, luxury brands the world over took to the new medium to celebrate owner stories. How long and how much could luxury brands go harping about the superior quality of their brands, that’s a given. They preferred the owners of these precious things to do all the talking, to build all the aspiration amongst their friends and build the brand story for them.
User-generated content worked like a charm for many luxury brands on social media, one of which is the global #BMWStories campaign by BMW that sought to illustrate the special bond BMW drivers have with their vehicles.
The campaign, launched in 2014, wanted to celebrate driver stories. A video stressed on how there are millions of BMW stories in the world that need to be told. Fans on social media were also invited to share their BMW story: what the brand meant to them and how it has been a part of their lives. Sachin Tendulkar, God of cricket and India’s favourite batsman, also a BMW enthusiast was roped in to tell us his BMW story.
This year, BMW is in its 100th year of existence, and that calls for a celebration by the German luxury automaker. It has resurrected the BMW Stories campaign with two new BMW enthusiasts in India – one of India’s biggest auto enthusiasts and editor of Autocar India, Hormazd Sorabjee, and BMW owner Ajith Urumis from Kannur, Kerala. The automaker is soon launching the BMW 3 Series LCI in India with prices that range from Rs 35,90,000 to Rs 44,50,000.
Sorabjee’s love for the BMW starts like any other love story at a racing rally when he was 22. He fell in love with the classic BMW 325i (E30), a 1986 model, whose 72-year-old owner often used it for racing at car rallies. His old friend wouldn’t part with his love. “You can have it over my dead body,” he had said, which incidentally is how Sorabjee finally got hold of the E30. The 90-second spot captures the joy of owning a BMW from generations across.
The second one is the story of Urumis who shares the many times BMW was a memorable partner in his life. He recalls driving his BMW 3 series all the way to Bangalore over weekends to meet his fiancée. In fact he was always finding reasons to drive his BMW. His fiancée, now his wife, feels that the BMW was always his first love. He says he wakes up happy because he knows he will get to drive his BMW.
The films created by Ogilvy & Mather end with the respective BMW owner asking the audience to share their own BMW story. Sadly, I don’t have a BMW story to tell, unless, of course, I rent a BMW!
Both the films have been shared on Twitter and Facebook, and that’s that. There’s not much of a digital marketing campaign around #BMWStories, except that they’ll be heavily pushed through paid means. The last time the brand had tried to promote the hashtag inviting people to share their BMW Stories, all it received were satirical user responses ranging from the extremely comical to the plain ‘Are you kidding me? toned ones.
It helps that all the #BMWStories from the social web have been curated at the brand’s website, forming a global one-stop destination to know more BMW driver stories. Stitching together all stories gives the potential consumer a fair idea of what it means to own a BMW, while building aspiration to have their own special BMW one day. The automaker, however, could have added a fresh element this time instead of a re-run of its 2014 campaign.