BMW LOADS UP BOND PUSH TO PRECEDE FILM PREMIERE: FALLON SPOTS FOR Z8 ROADSTER PARODY YET 'GET THE GENRE'

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BMW again is linking up with Agent 007 to promote its own hot new number, the pricey Z8 roadster.

The new James Bond movie, "The World Is Not Enough," opens Nov. 19, with actor Pierce Brosnan driving the Z8. Jim McDowell, VP-marketing for BMW of North America, said the automaker will launch "a major effort" before that premiere.

"There are media elements that will run longer, but we're trying to front-load as much of our investment as we can," he said.

Two TV spots from Fallon McElligott, Minneapolis, will break during Fox's "Ally McBeal" today, followed on later dates by "NFL Monday Night Football," "Frasier," "Friends" and other network shows.

Print ads will appear in auto-buff magazines as well as Forbes, Fortune, Time and USA Today.

The TV spots parody Bond movies, interspersing shots from the new films. The agency strove to make the ads as edgy as the Bond movies, said David Lubars, Fallon president and creative director.

"There's a tongue-in-cheek quality to the Bond movies. It's become like an icon, and [Bond movie makers] parody themselves, too," he said. "We thought we'd keep [the advertising] in that same tone."

Creating ads to appeal to Bond enthusiasts was a challenge, Mr. Lubars said.

"There are things that are authentic Bond that you have to show an understanding and appreciation for -- to show people you really get the genre. At the same time, you have to walk [a thin] line because that car is a major piece of engineering artistry," Mr. Lubars said. "The humor has to be intelligent -- with a wink vs. big yucks."

BMW's Mr. McDowell said the company doesn't expect to move many Z8s through the campaign because the car is designed to sell "in the hundreds" to "auto cognoscenti."

TOP OF THE LINE

It will be priced at the top of BMW's line, giving it a sticker price of $100,000 or more. By contrast, the Z3, featured in the most recent Bond movie, "GoldenEye", will sell more than 20,000 units this year.

Nevertheless, BMW is going all-out to woo elite auto shoppers. Groups of potential buyers were allowed to visit the movie set and to talk with company engineers and designers at a special reception when the Z8 debuted at the recent

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