The world of online video is becoming more important to automakers seeking to get their message out to the widest possible audience. BMW, one of the foremost users of social media and Internet information campaigns, has elected to bypass television entirely to spread the word about its new ActiveE electric car. Instead of traditional 30-second television spots, the brand has rolled out a series of online video documentaries intended to promote the vehicle.
This fresh initiative echoes a similar decision made in 2001 when BMW produced a number of short films that prominently featured its cars engaged in action sequences and dramatic plot lines alongside recognized Hollywood stars. Updating that strategy for 2011, the German luxury car company – which has named the campaign “Activate the Future” – has turned the camera lens toward an exploration of the future of mobility.
The scope of the documentaries is far ranging; BMW sought out a number of mobility experts, celebrity commentators and scientists to explore even some of the more “out there” aspects of personal mobility such as jet packs and flying cars. Opinions and information about methods of transportation as diverse as private space travel, practical inner city bicycling and even personal transportation pods, where drivers are an afterthought, are discussed in detail. The discussions offer a vast array of ideas, concepts and new directions for technological and social growth. The films also explore past mobility concepts and investigate how they inform current transportation ideas. The scope of the documentaries fits in perfectly with the Activate the Future theme, which is “Wherever You Want To Go.”
Some of the more notable names to be included in the documentary series are astronaut Buzz Aldrin, Robin Chase (the co-founder of car-sharing service Zipcar) and George Whitesides (CEO of Virgin Galactic and private space travel pioneer). A number of passionate “car people” have their opinions about mobility showcased throughout the series as well with appearances by Mike Musto (editor of RideLust.com) and BMW DesignworksUSA’s own president, Laurenz Schaffer.
The four documentaries – The New City, The Future Just Isn’t What It Used To Be, Reinventing Mobility and How We’ll Learn To Stop Worrying And Love The Future – are important tools in helping BMW educate drivers and vehicle enthusiasts about the benefits offered by the BMW Concept ActiveE automobile. The idea of an all-electric sedan offering the same kind of engaging driving experience and performance as a traditional gasoline-powered one is not always so readily accepted by a broad range of motorists. By exposing as many people as possible to the fresh take on mobility that is provided by the ActiveE car, and explored throughout the documentaries, the Activate the Future campaign is poised to help drivers ready themselves for the next step in the evolution of personal transportation.
Find out more by visiting the Activate the Future website at www.bmwactivatethefuture.com.