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The task before copywriter Rob McPherson and art director Tom Lichtenheld was to smash the misperception that BMWs don't handle well in winter. The creative team mentally swept wintry visuals ranging from arctic icebergs to the landscapes north of their office at Fallon McElligott in Minneapolis.

An idea that the team ultimately rejected sparked a winner. As Lichtenheld and McPherson focused on reasons that would compel someone to drive a BMW in paralyzing winter conditions, one thought that came to mind was that of a captain who had to get to his ship that was due to leave port. Although the salty mariner driving to the dock was soon scrapped, the Fallon team started toying with images of ships trapped in ice. That's when they became unstuck, as it were. "A ship is the largest moving object that man makes," McPherson says. "There's something moving about the idea of this huge thing being rendered helpless by Nature. As soon as we were talking about a ship stuck in ice, the rest came easily."

So it does in the commercial, as the captain of a vessel held prisoner by ice looks in his cargo book to see that he is carrying BMWs, and rallies his crew to free them. The last image we see is a line of sleek BMWs being triumphantly

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