Cannes Lions

The New BMW X5 Monza,Sahara

M&C SAATCHI, Milan / BMW / 2019

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The BMW X5 represents one of the most iconic BMW model. A car that embodies the essence of SUV: the perfect balance between driving performance and off-road confidence.

For almost 20 years BMW X5 has been a point of reference in the competition. A competition that across years has become more and more crowded and challenging, with always new players trying to get their piece of the cake by leveraging on their specific off road heritage and by making it their competitive advantage.

BMW heritage is different, but the new BMW X5 can now compete amongst the most extreme off road vehicles thanks to the innovative xOffroad package and win thanks to its authentic BMW DNA.

That’s why its launch set the highest challenge: to be undisputedly recognized as the car that truly ensure the iconic BMW Driving Pleasure literally on every terrain.


The all new BMW X5 is equipped with best in class off-road technologies. But above all it’s a BMW. And you can take a BMW out of the beaten track. But you can’t take the track out of a BMW.

To show it, we took an international icon of performance and sportsmanship and relocated it where only the new BMW X5 can succeed, ensuring the utmost driving pleasure. With a 5793 meter long circuit through the sands and rocks of the Sahara, Monza’s race track came to life in the heart of the desert. A monumental effort culminating with an unprecedented test: driving the new BMW X5 in one of the planet’s most hostile environments, just as you would at “The Temple of Speed”, Monza Circuit. A tangible proof of its augmented potential that millions can relive with a series of videos, footages and digital content planned across platforms.


We needed to engage with potential BMW X5 customers. High spending 35-64 males, sports and technology enthusiastic. For them BMW is well know for driving pleasure. We wanted to make sure that the new BMW X5 would be also known for outstanding off-road performance.

We know the web is their primary source of information when it comes to buy a new car, but we also know that they are very pragmatic when it comes to taking decisions (they are mostly entrepreneurs and top managers): actions speak louder than words.

So to prove its capabilities we showed the BMW X5 in action on a life-size replica of the Monza track built in the middle of the desert.

A group of influencers and journalists from the major Italian car/lifestyle magazines was also invited to “Monza Sahara” to witness the stunt and test the car on the circuit.


Engineers, surveyors and technicians have worked hard to faithfully reproduce every turn, every straight, every chicane, using the original track’s turning circles and distances. Once the circuit was completed, a short film of the stunt was produced and released on BMW’s digital platforms along with a series of side-content videos, including a complete POV lap to enjoy the full experience, side by side (off road/on track) and a detailed making-of footage to discovered how the original Monza circuit has been brought to life in the desert. All videos where gathered on a dedicated website, directly linked to the product page.

The stunt raised the attention of the media ensuring a full online national press coverage and additional views for the videos.

A genuine content generator that eventually become a 360° campaign that included TVCs, digital display and prerolls, print and OOH, released starting from mid November 2018.


The stunt received massive response from the media and final audience, supporting the “traditional” TV launch campaign with outstanding performances both in terms of ad recall and impact on brand image.

More than 100 press releases with full on line coverage on national news and major car magazines.

10 millions global video views (not including editorials)

Access rate to website +42% vs average.

View through rate social video +19% vs average.

Social Engagement +41% vs average.

80% positive social sentiment

Ad Recall +30% vs traditional TV campaign

Positive impact on brand image +7% vs traditional TV campaign (including +11% “reliable quality car”, +16% “for people who love to drive”, +9,5% “it’s a car I’d like to have” )

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