BMW to spend F1 money on films

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It’s bad enough BMW has chosen to quit F1.

But now according to Variety magazine they’re going to used the money they’ve saved putting more adverts into films:

BMW stunned Hollywood six years ago when it left the entertainment biz in its rearview mirror. But BMW now wants to make a comeback, hiring Propaganda GEM as its global entertainment marketing agency of record. […]

BMW still doesn’t boast a major marketing budget, but it recently freed up millions by pulling out as an official sponsor of Formula One racing. It will funnel some of that back into entertainment after sponsoring the 2012 Summer Olympics in London.

F1 loses a team, films get even more crass product placement. There’s a lose-lose situation.

BMW famously put James Bond – usually spotted in an Aston Martin – behind the wheel of a Z8 in 1999’s “The World is Not Enough”. The unloved Z8 was canned after just four years in production. Bond’s was sawn in half and even that was probably too good for it.

The article also reckons BMWs “have become the favoured wheels of villains.” But I think that’s a bit harsh on Nick Heidfeld and Robert Kubica.

Will BMW get better brand recognition from product placement than they did out of F1? At least this way they don’t have to come up with excuses for being beaten by Mercedes.

Via Autoblog

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Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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  • 36 comments on “BMW to spend F1 money on films”

    1. This is far more effective than F1 in my opinion. If Bond is driving a BMW road car at least people can go out and buy that product. You don’t get the chance to go to the store and pick up the model Kubica and Heidfeld were driving this year.

      1. I agree, last time I checked a BMW Sauber F1.09 was not available from BMW USA, even as a special order!

        1. Charles Beaufort
          25th November 2009, 5:19

          Why would anyone want a F109? Not only are they catastrophically slow, but hideously ugly.

      2. I’m sorry Neil but I think a captive audience sometimes approaching 1 billion is slightly better marketing than movies. BMW’s withdrawel was more to do with the constant humiliation the board were suffering at the hands of Mercedes, it was a cop out, and now they are looking for the next best thing for marketing. It’s the same for Toyota, F1 has massive potential commercial positives, but the problem is if you consistantly lose to they guy with a showroom down the road then it makes sense to get out!

      3. Why would you want the car which Kubica or Heidfeld drove anyway?
        So many people went out and bought the Z8 didn’t they.
        It’s just BMW messing around, Bond films? Aston Martin sponsor Bond films, if BMW do instead of Aston it does not look very original, looks like they are jumping on the bandwagon to me.
        BMW, fresh out of idea’s to beat Mercedes benz are now trying something which didn’t work before…..nice one! :)

    2. Mercedes trounced BMW this year. and beat them previous years too.

    3. Next up for BMW….NASCAR. I mean why stop at Hollywood. NASCAR is the largest sport in America (fact), so why not throw a few BMW 3 Series Car of Tomorrows on the track.

      Then, Hollywood could do a Days of Thunder II with gratuitous placement of BMW cars on and off track. To really make it German, make sure that David Hasselhoff stars in it, and sings the soundtrack music….in German!

      1. Michael-

        NASCAR is the largest sport in America (fact)

        not even close. the nfl rules the roost, leaving baseball second.

      2. WHAT!? Nascar has gone downhill the past few seasons for numerous reason’s other than Jimmie Johnson’s dominance.

      3. Mussolini's Pet Cat
        25th November 2009, 18:47

        how about put all 3 Series BM’s into NASCAR, hopefully none will survive!

      4. That is the best idea I have ever heard!!

    4. Maybe Jason Statham can be their spokesperson.His Transporter movies did more for BMW than James Bond.

      There is only one James Bond…..Sean Connery….and he should only drive an Astin Martin.IMHO.

      1. I think Jason Statham has an Audi sponsorship deal now…

    5. It’s a very smart marketing move for BMW. Their series of web films several years ago were a huge hit and did a lot to build and maintain their brand image. That said, it would also be smart move for them to go back to being an engine supplier to F1. Less cost and almost the same exposure.

    6. In marketing terms, this is a good decision

    7. Keith, I have to disagree with you here. Gratuitous product placement is a horrible insult to moviegoers, and “The World is Not Enough” was a horrible movie, but the BMW Z8 was a gorgeous car, and does not deserve such spiteful remarks (even if it doesnt belong in a Bond movie).

      1. The gorgeous Fisker designed Z8 is very much sought after due to there not being that many made and that it is one of the best GT’s of its kind.
        It’s not the Z8’s fault that “The World is not Enough” was just about one of the worst Bond movies ever made!

        1. it is one of the best GT’s of its kind

          Clarkson might disagree there. He panned the Z8 as a pretty car but crap to drive. Not a great endorsement for a “tourer”, but then I considered it a roadster anyway.

          1. Clarkson might disagree there

            I rest my case!

        2. Did anyone on here ever drive a z8 ?
          ……no i thought not. Sure i agree they are very pretty, possibly the best looking BMW ever made, but then that’s not too difficult is it.
          The car is not very good to drive really, it’s ok if you live in LA and just use it for shopping etc but it’s not focused enough to call it a sportscar.
          Maybe they should have taken MG when they shafted Rover Group (in the UK) they do know how to built a small sportscar!

          1. I dont claim to have driven one, but both Car and Driver and Road and Track (American mags) said that it was a wonderful driving car, with great grip and balance, a true sports car. It was even compared to the Ferrari 360 Spider. Jeremy Clarkson’s exaggeratory opinions aren’t the word of God…

            1. i’d rather take Jeremy Clarkson’s opinions at vace value…
              than follow the opinion from a magazine in a country famous for producing cr*ppy cars

    8. I think that’s being a bit cruel about the Z8. It was a pretty hot car and a throwback to the gorgeous 507.

      1. Erm…..cruel, to what? A car?
        The car was not due to be sold in very limited numbers was it?
        Hot? yes if you left it in the desert with the roof down! Vegas anyone?
        The car was for BMW a waste of money.

    9. In 2001 BMW produced a 8 part filmed starting Clive Owen where they featured many of their cars,are they doing something like that again?

    10. BMW still doesn’t boast a major marketing budget, but it recently freed up millions by pulling out as an official sponsor of Formula One racing.

      Something tells me Variety don’t quite understands what BMW did in F1.

      1. Something tells me Variety doesn’t understand the scale of a “major” marketing budget.

    11. At least the product placement of the Z8 was a better effort than the previous film’s 750L, in Tomorrow Never Dies. Going from hot sports cars to a German luxo-barge has never been so yawnworthy.

    12. What’s the problem with this? It seems to have worked for Audi well enough.

    13. Absolutely, just from exposure alone its big!
      Nothing can beat the viewer numbers that Bond commands

      1. Viewer numbers = what % of car sales figures?
        the answer is……anyones guess!
        Try proving that one, you have to rely on survey’s and that is the problem, people don’t tell the truth.
        BMW salesman) yes sir of course i would like to sell you a new 3 series but can you tell me where you first saw the car? what memories do you have of the car?
        Have you seen the car in any advertising material? newspapers, magazinesm films etc etc?
        Customer) oh yes i’ve seen it in a James Bond film and i’ve simply got to have one.

    14. Instead of F1 titles maybe they’ll win an Oscar.

    15. Plus with all the movie piracy Hollywood is looking for more ways to get money other than just sales of tickets and DVDs. More product placement fits the bill.

    16. I’d rather have an Aston or Lotus anyway!

    17. Seems that BMW have sold the car back to Peter Sauber…

    18. When I think of BMW, I think of motorsport heritage and experience translated into road-legal driving machines. Take away the motorsport, and you take away the soul of the company- their future cars shouldn’t be able to wear M badges anymore…

    Comments are closed.