Cannes Lions

BMW #NEXTGen 2020

BMW, Munich / BMW / 2021

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Overview

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Credits

Overview

Background

#NEXTGen2020 was transformed from a live event into a new digital format against the backdrop of COVID-19 and implemented in November 2020. The objective of the event was to bring the strength of "German Engineering Reinvented" to diverse target groups (journalists, analysts, influencers, retailers, employees, general public) in a unique way. We believe that brand communication nowadays has to serve many really different target groups at the same time – so together with all partners we invented the multi-layered streamcast event, that would be sent all around the world from the BMW Welt in Munich. We designed a studio – built right into the core of the BMW Welt – that gave us the possibility to produce many really different formats and mesmerizing visuals in one place. The combination of design and technology gave us the flexibility we needed.

Idea

First of all we had the feeling that BMW had to adjust the way how they talk with their audiences to be heard and admired:

Together with BMW we developed the idea that in the contrast between a very German company culture with people, who might not be the hippest Silicon Valley people, but building the best cars in the world, lies a huge potential.

The people behind BMW are tangible, they are totally driven and obsessed. And they are lovable for how they love their cars and their profession.

We wanted to use this potential and make it visible to the public without creating typical corporate communication assets and empty phrases.

Second, we wanted to create a multi-faceted image: NOT the ONE campaign look, that is pushed into all channels, but very different tonalities of the same topics and products – attaching much better to the related target groups.

Strategy

A multi stakeholder approach was needed to customize tailor-made journeys for all relevant target groups and new audiences to be tackled to ensure awareness. With "Chasing iNEXT", we have chosen a different and, for the automotive industry, new type of storytelling – an entertaining mini-series in streaming portal style. In this way, we made our topics accessible to a broad interested audience, but also to a public that is not necessarily interested in cars. We wanted to show that behind the walls of our research and innovation center, people are working hard every day to find solutions to the challenges of our time and the future. And they have great fun doing it. In this way we wanted to show that passion is a top priority at BMW.

Execution

Besides of the conventional shooting of the mini-series and several filmed documentaries, we designed a custom studio for BMW – built right into the core of the BMW Welt in Munich – that gave us the possibility to produce various really different formats and mesmerizing visuals in one place:

We combined cutting edge virtual production technology based on Unreal Engine with a TV studio-setup and merged both, the film and the TV worlds.

The combination of design and technology gave us the flexibility we needed:

Within 28 production days in the studio we produced all the different formats from presentations, to shows, to talks, to the shooting of the unveiling movies, to livestreams into the international markets.

This resulted in more than 2.238 content pieces released on all content channels, on social media as well as on the event website.

Outcome

First of all: the newly set tonality of the brand – approachable, authentic with a relaxed humor and understatement – was received with above-average success in all target groups and especially in renowned press media!

The BMW Group received positive coverage across the board with only 4% percent critical statements (total coverage). The event triggered more than 3.700 online articles within the first 24hours after launch.

#NEXTGen 2020 communication via the owned social media channels reached over 39 million followers. It also generated more than 22.848.610 engagements as well as 804.207.022 impressions via owned and paid media.

Audiences spent more that 671.967 days with the content.

The really sustainable effect on the other side: the event was extraordinarily well received by the 140.000 employees of BMW and made them even more proud to work there (more than 10.000 likes on related post and a lot of very positive feedback).

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