Cannes Lions

BMW M5 BULLET

CUNDARI, Toronto / BMW / 2013

Awards:

1 Shortlisted Cannes Lions
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Overview

Entries

Credits

Overview

Description

Our brief was to launch the BMW M5 and use it as a halo vehicle to promote the BMW M line up, their high performance range of vehicles.

But we didn't want to create another typical commercial. Instead, we decided to give the public and bloggers something to talk about: an unconventional art piece.

To communicate that the M5 is not only the world’s fastest sedan, but also the most luxurious, we created a film inspired by slow motion bullet footage – but on a grander scale. Exciting high-speed driving was inter-cut with serene super slow motion sequences to show the true beauty of the M5’s power. The result? High performance art.

Bus shelters, rich media, and targeted banners drove traffic to our film on YouTube.

Large format out of home board showcased the M line up and we populated BMW Canada's YouTube channel with videos showcasing the entire M range.

The film received over 3 million views in its first 8 days.

But something isn't truly art, unless people want to discuss it.

Our film was the # 1 Most Discussed, Most Favourited, Most Viewed, and Most Liked Automotive Video on all of YouTube in June and July.

270,000+ Facebook shares.

10,000+ Tweets

331 blog posts

The M line up sales exceeded target by 21%.

And M5 sales exceeded target by over 14%.

Execution

THE ENVIRONMENT

Our crew spent three days at the Utah location, using a Nikon D800 to photograph the salt flats from a helicopter, a truck and from within a BMW M5 test car. The hi-res photographs were then stitched together by visual effects artists and wrapped around geometry to digitally replicate the salt flats and surrounding mountains in a completely photoreal 3D environment.

THE VEHICLE

Next, we used a one-of-kind proprietary driving simulator that replicated the driving and handling characteristics of the BMW M5, using physics-based simulations to accurately represent the way the M5 drives and interacts with its environment. The weight, power output and even tire pressure of the BMW M5 were entered into the system, resulting in a virtual BMW M5 that behaved like the real thing.

THE OBJECTS

In order to capture the M5’s massive force and strength, we captured three different stunts in camera on a smaller scale. Following the background shoot in Utah’s Bonneville Salt Flats, “giant miniatures” were constructed as large as possible to eliminate the giveaway clues of scale that make the viewers’ eyes disbelieve. We then shot projectiles through the objects and recorded the results. Filming at 2500 frames per second, a phantom camera captured every tiny detail of our set pieces as they were being decimated by various projectiles.

Our CGI VFX Supervisor worked in 3D Studio Max to enhance the shattering of the live action glass orbs captured on the stage day, as well as to generate the fluid dynamics for smoke and water. Everything was brought together in Nuke and executed perfectly by talented visual effects artists. Played back at 24 frames per second, we see all of the attributes of the BMW M5 in super slow motion: power, speed, handling and luxury, all integrated seamlessly in our CGI environments.

Outcome

The film received over 3 million views in its first 8 days and 4.7 million to date.

But views aren't everything – we also wanted to get people talking:

Our film was the # 1 Most Discussed, Most Favourited, Most Viewed, and Most Liked Automotive Video on all of YouTube in June and July.

270,000+ Facebook shares.

10,000+ Tweets

331 blog posts

Coverage included: CNN. Mashable. Fast Company. Jalopnik. The Discover Channel. Top Gear. Creativity. Ad Week. PSFK. Strategy. MotorTrend. The Globe & Mail. And even 50 Cent’s Blog.

SALES RESULTS

M line up sales:

Target:772

Actual: 936

Exceeded target by 21%.

M5 sales:

Target: 217

Actual: 248

Exceeded target by over 14%.

Best of all, Mercedes-Benz had outsold BMW the first 7 months of the year – but following launch, BMW outsold Mercedes-Benz for four months straight and went on to finish the year #1 in the premium segment.

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