BMW: Flash projection

“Tell me something and I can forget. Show me something and I can remember. Involve me and I will understand,” states BMW as it rolls out it’s latest cinematic ad campaign.

The principal behind the old Chinese proverb is put to good effect by BMW as it builds in a fleeting, but indelible piece of messaging right into the core of its audience. By ‘core’, I mean directly inside their heads.

The new commercial, which made its public debut in Germany, is visually very much what you would expect from the auto manufacturer.  Beautifully shot in black & white the commercial features Ruben Xaus, the World Superbike Vice Champion, as he tears across the test track. However, behind the scenes – in the literal sense, behind the actual cinema screen – a giant cut out of the BMW logo and a projector managed to subliminally affect the audience mid-way through the ad broadcast.

At a critical point in the commercial, just as the bike passes in front of the camera, the sun flashes across the track (at which point there is a noticeable flash). Then Ruben invites the audience to “close their eyes and look deep into themselves”. On doing so the audience can see an after image of the BMW logo (which had been flashed through the cinema screen) as it slowly fades.

The simple visual slight of hand aspect of this ad certainly manages to deliver the wow factor in its audience, even if it isn’t the most portable or transferable application (it requires a heavy duty installation behind the screen).  Ruben talks about the driving experience being a shared dream in the commercial, and the idea that an entire audience of consumers ended up with the brand’s logo burnt into their visual subconscious is surely a marketeer’s dream.  Now if only there was a way to make it permanent…

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