BMW’s daring X2 crossover breaks new ground by changing the rules, thereby ruling the game. No really – it totally does.
In the BBC comedy, 2012 and it’s spinoff, W1A, the standout character is that of Brand Consultant and head of PR agency Perfect Curve, Siobhan Sharpe, played with considerable aplomb by actress, Jessica Hynes. In the show, Siobhan is engaged, enthusiastic, totally on-zeitgeist. Her dial is set to communicate, yet lacks a filter or indeed much in the way of genuine insight. As a communicator, Siobhan never seems to listen. She is wrong about almost everything, yet steadfast and assured in her chosen pathway. In short, Siobhan is the personification of marketing at its most vacuous. She is however, a construct. A cleverly embellished facsimile.
Set Yourself Apart
Marketing and advertising are the very air we breathe. Without them we are reliably informed, brands would struggle to insert themselves into our consciousness. For over a century, advertising has invaded our lives and at its most creative has subtly enhanced it. But the double blow of the financial crash and the rise of the internet has seen it degenerate into a numbers game. Creativity? That’s as last century as Madison Avenue anti-heroes and cocktails at three.
What is Daring?
All of this is by way of saying that I have some sympathy with the men and women tasked with pitching (often mediocre) products to a world of ad-blockers and jaded seen-it-all palates. Take Hildegard Wortmann, for example. Having previously overseen the rise of brand-MINI, Wortmann is currently Senior Vice President Brand BMW, and as such defines the message and channels through which the BMW marketing narrative is funnelled.
Never Run From Risk
Ms. Wortmann’s team is behind the launch spot for new BMW X2 crossover, whose virtues, such as they are, can be viewed in all their Precision and Poetry on YouTube. You’re more than capable of drawing your own conclusions as to the merits or otherwise of both the vehicle itself and indeed the spot that promotes it, but what I will say is that it does appear for all the world as though Hildegard and her minions have been imbibing the same brand of cooking sherry Henrik Fisker has developed an addiction to.
Rise Above Status
Wortmann acolyte, Uwe Dreher, outlining the X2’s ‘virtual’ marketing strategy defined the car’s target group as follows. “The X2 will appeal to a relatively new, young and digitally-savvy target group that is also looking for unique and contemporary experiences from communications.” In reality of course, the X2’s demographic is more likely to be resolutely suburban, in possession of a decent full-salary pension, be neither new, nor particularly youthful – (young-at-heart might be a closer approximation) and wouldn’t recognise (or understand) a contemporary communication experience if one came up and bit them.
Be the One Who Dares
Okay, I mislead you. I will share my opinion of the X2, a pointless device of no apparent merit, styled in a soporifically generic manner (aggressive face!) to neither offend nor particularly excite and one which probably previews the appearance of next year’s front-drive 1-Series (but will most likely outsell it). So in short, what we have here is an empty channel in breathless cause of promoting an even emptier vessel.
Contrary to what you’re probably thinking, far from being a cleverly embellished facsimile, Hildegard Wortmann is an actual person with a crust to earn and a job title to justify. Is it her fault that she’s been given so little to work with? Arguable perhaps, but what is beyond debate is that creatively speaking, both car and ad-spot are in alignment. One might even go as far as to suggest they represent a Perfect Curve.
See what I did Dare?