BMW-campaign for introducing Efficient Dynamics in Hungary, 2009 Executive Summary The campaign introduced the new Efficient Dynamics technology of BMW by creating the team “BMW Team Hungary with Efficient Dynamics” and participating on long-term races to make customers know and understand the real advantage of the technology: that low fuel consumption and emissions combined with out-standing performance leads in success by competing even vs. sport cars positioned on a much higher level.
The campaign covered two long-term races in 2009, one at Nurburgring and one at Hungaroring. (Thanks to their successes, the BMW Team Hungary with Efficient Dynamics got the chance to continue racing in 2010 as well, though, it was NOT the part of the original PR-campaign. (That is why I have not included them in the analysis. ) ) Issue(s) The target group of BMW contains well-situated businessmen and women, who want to be elegant and sporty at the same time. People usually buy cars like BMW not just to have a car but also to demonstrate their “power” and money.
This new technology is focused on efficiency and environmental awareness, but if the campaign emphasizes these features too much, it can backfire, because efficiency is usually connected to low-performance in customers’ mind. So a special way had to be found, in which they overwrite the previous meanings (‘bad’ and ‘poor’) of efficiency in people’s mind. Insight / Perspective They identified that “best defence is attack”—instead of trying to prove that customers will not lose their powerful image, they wanted to make obvious that by buying the new BMW they just further strengthen it.
For this, the campaign had to delete the connection “efficient, BUT strong” and build the new one: “efficient, SO strong”. The Pr-company also realized that they have to choose a kind of event which is associated with power and generates a big publicity in itself. The perfect choice was: sport. Strategy Races had to be found where efficiency can become an advantage. Long-term ones seemed to be ideal for this. (If the same amount of fuel is enough for a longer distance, they have to refuel a couple of times less and this means a lot of advantage. They have chosen 2 races (2 races are enough to prove and they can be covered by a quite low budget as well). They formed a team called BMW Team Hungary with Efficient Dynamics and participated on two long-term races, one at Nurburgring and one at Hungaroring (the first one provided the credibility—it is one of the world’s most well-known long-term races, the second one let customers to collect some experiences from very close, in their home-country. ) The members of the team were: • Laszlo Palik—car-racer and very famous Formula-1 commentator known almost by the whole audience who are interested in cars or sports.
As the former director of Hungaroring, he has a close relationship with all forms of media reporting about sports or cars. • Janos Vida—well-known car-racer, reporter of one of the biggest Hungarian portals, www. origo. hu) • Gabor Weber—well-known car-racer and Formula-1 commentator, the Hungarian editor of the biggest Formula-1 magazine • Csaba Walter—successful racer and commentator (The main advantages of the strategy were: • The identity of drivers guaranteed the high level of publicity in itself because of the important positions they had in the Hungarian media. It was based on the idea that Hungarian people are easily influenced by sport events. This is one of the few areas of life where they are able to catch up and cheer as one for someone. (The history of the country, especially the 50’s is the best explanation for this. ) • According to a study published by RtlKlub (most famous Hungarian Tv-channel), the second most famous and most viewed sport is Formula-1 right after football; this shows how much people are interested in motorsports. (http://www. pestiest. u/cikk/64692/2008-ban_a_vigjatekokat_szerettek_a_magyar_tevenezok) Results at Nurburgring In category: 5th Overall: 55th out of approx. 200 Technical problems (1. 5 hours repair of fly wheel) with the car kept the Team away from finishing in the first 20. Results at Hungaroring In category: 1st Overall: 6th (BMW Team Hungary Microsite; http://www. bmw-teamhungary. hu/index. html) Challenge(s): The nature of the campaign (sports event) and the identity of drivers guaranteed the high level of media coverage.
On one hand, it was good, but on the other hand, this way it was vitally important to achieve a good result. Any technical problems or too bad result could backfire. What the advantage of this campaign was (that it was not just the promise but also the proof at the same time) could have been the danger of it as well. A team using Audi also participated on the race and as they have the same target group as BMW, it was necessary to win the race against them. Objectives The two main goals were: to reach a high level of publicity and to destroy the bad connection of efficiency and low-standard.
With the help of the strategy and by achieving good results at the races they wanted to reach these two goals at once: to prove and let people talk about that. With a low ATL budget they had to: • make the new technology well-known, • reach a high level of publicity, • reach positive press coverage, • increase the credibility of the new technology, • endear the new technology, • destroy the connection between low consumption and low performance or low standard of living in customers’ minds. Campaign / Execution Nurburgring Before the race Successful press conference introducing the Team at Hungaroring in April: approx. 35 journalists and several TV stations were taking part • Press material about the Team, car, BMW Efficient Dynamics, races etc. • Press releases about the preparation • Interviews organized: 9 interviews made with the team members and BMW Group Hungary representatives During the race weekend • Press releases and photos sent out • Radio interviews from Nurburgring • Live blogs from the track to Hungary After the race • Further press releases and photos sent out with the results • Radio interviews Origo. hu interview with Dr. Ferenc Anisits, former head of BMW DEZ, Steyr • All articles about the race focused on BMW Team Hungary with ED • No news about Audi teams finishing 2nd overall (Defeat Audi! ) • No negative comments about BMW Sauber F1 Team racing at Monaco parallel to the Nurburgring 24h race (RTL Klub media sponsor of BMW Team Hungary and also airing F1) Hungaroring • Successful press conference before the race at Hungaroring • BMW Race Center at the Hungaroring during the practice run and the race • Approx. 50 invited person registered on Friday and Saturday (more than 50 key journalists) • After the practice and the race further articles appeared based on press releases and photos sent out. • All articles about the race focused on BMW Team Hungary • RTL Klub: 2 publications in the famous evening magazine, Fokusz (Koromi 2009) Celebrity endorsement was an essential part of the strategy as car-racers are celebrities anyway, but in this case the multifold position of the drivers (reporter, commentator, director…) just increased the public interest.
However, these positions are not independent, most of the journalists participate at least on smaller races sometimes. Although it looks like that, in this case we cannot really talk about sports sponsorship, because the goal of the strategy was not showing the customers the ‘generosity’ of the company, but showing the great features of the product and reach a high level of publicity at the same time. Results / Evaluation/Media Coverage Nurburgring [pic] [pic] (Source: Cafe Pr)
The campaign can be addressed successful as they reached a very high level of publicity and the good results of the team generated a great amount of positive media coverage. Before the race: (4 TV, 4 print and 32 online publications) • TV: MTV, RTL Klub (2 publications), Viasat 3 • Print: Metropol, Blikk, Auto Piac, Auto-Motor • Online: Origo. hu (article series and blog – 2 articles), Blikk Online, Metropol Online, Nemzeti Sport Online, Vezess. hu, A5. hu, HVG Online, Stop. hu, Telesport Online (article series – 4 articles), Sportforum. u, MTV Online (article series – 4 articles), Ma. hu, Autolabor. hu, Automenedzser. hu, Aqua Online, Cars&Girls. hu (article series – 2 article), Sztarauto. hu, Sebesseg Online, Pophalo. hu, Brandtrend. hu, Bimmerteam. hu, OKauto. hu, Hahu. hu, etc. After the race: (1 TV, 4 print, 32 online) • TV: RTL Klub • Print: Blikk (2 articles), Auto-Motor, Auto-Piac • Online: Automenedzser. hu (2 articles), XLsport. hu, Testcar. hu, Telesport Online (3), 4×4 Online, Origo. hu(6)/ Nordschleife blog, Autolabor. hu (4), Ma. hu, Sportforum. hu, Sebesseg Online, Aqua Online, Hirextra. u, OKauto. hu, Autoblog. hu, Stop. hu, Sztarauto. hu, Vezess. hu, Hahu. hu, MTV Online, Formula. hu, Auto-Motor Online, etc. Hungaroring (21 TV, 9 print and 37 online publications) • TV: RTL Klub (2 publications), Sport Klub (9 publications), Halozat TV (9 publications) Top Gear (Romania) • Print: Auto-Motor, Auto Bild, Sport Auto, Auto Piac, Vasarnapi Blikk, Auto Magazin • Online: Origo. hu (7 publications), Totalcar. hu, Telesport. hu (8 publications), blikk. hu (2 publications), stop. hu, a5. hu (2 publications), hahu. hu (2 publications), autoblog. u, autohirek. hu, autolabor. hu (3 publications), vezess. hu, automenedzser. hu (2 publications), testcar. hu (2 publications), sportforum. hu (2 publications) • Dr. Ferenc Anisits exclusive interview in Auto Magazin • BMW Team Hungary with Efficient Dynamics exclusive interview on SportKlub (sport TV programme) (Koromi 2009) In numbers • Media equivalent value altogether (10th October 2009): ca. 180. 000 € • Further publications and coverage (Auto Bild ED and BMW Team Hungary specials, 12h race, interviews, TV shows) will increase this number up to ca. 00. 000 € • Team budget:ca. 100. 000 € (10% of ATL budget of BMW Group Hungary) (Cafe Pr, 2009) References Cafe Pr (2009) BMW Team Hungary evaluation [study] Budapest BMW microsite. http://www. bmw-teamhungary. hu/index. html Koromi, J. (2009) BMW Team Hungary with Efficient Dynamics—the work of a PR agency from inside [Interview-written] Corvinus University of Budapest with Flora Kenez 15th December 2009. RTL Klub’s study (2008). http://www. pestiest. hu/cikk/64692/2008-ban_a_vigjatekokat_szerettek_a_magyar_tevenezok