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GSD&M's Swan Song for BMW Is Ode to Owners and Film

Series of Shorts Skips Scripts, Goes for Real Drivers' Drama

By Published on . 10

NEW YORK (AdAge.com) -- GSD&M Idea City's final work for BMW North America is about to bow, and it's an ode of sorts to BMW Films -- the groundbreaking series of online-only shorts the car maker won acclaim for in the early part of this decade.

The Idea City films, dubbed "Unscripted," boasts neither the budgets nor A-list talent that Publicis Groupe's Fallon had for its BMW Films campaign. That work -- eight video shorts released in 2001 and 2002 that were collectively called "The Hire" -- featured acclaimed directors such as Guy Ritchie and Ang Lee and starred Clive Owen as the shadowy Driver and had appearances by Forest Whitaker, Mickey Rourke and Madonna, among others.

What do you think of Idea City's last execution for BMW? Let us know in the comments.

In contrast, the Omnicom shop's videos feature real BMW enthusiasts from around the globe, men and women from Italy, South Africa, Germany, England and the U.S., who charmingly tell stories of their relationships with their cars. Their tales are interspersed with some pretty stunning car-porn.

It's the last creative work to emerge from Idea City's five-year relationship with BMW, which ends effective Dec. 31. That's when the agency's contract on the nearly $140 million account expires. The split was initiated by the agency, although it is understood the car maker was considering not renewing its contract with Idea City amid several changes in the relationship, including the untimely death of BMW's VP-marketing of North America, Jack Pitney. For now, BMW plans to work with its existing roster of agencies, which includes WPP's Grey, MDC Partners' Dotglu and Interpublic Group of Cos.' Universal McCann. Whether that strategy changes in 2011 remains to be seen, but, a spokesman said, "Right now, we're not looking for an agency."

The teaser for the "Unscripted Stories" series that BMW began promoting on its Facebook page today apears below, plus one of the five short films that will begin being seeded in the coming weeks. This one here is the story of Murray Fowler, a 70-something California man with a lead foot who loves his cat and his car, a BMW that has logged 413,575 miles that he compares to a "really, really, really good friend."

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BMW Unscripted: Trailer

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BMW Unscripted: Murray

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