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Marketer: BMW

Media Agency: Vizeum, London

BMW backs U.K. contemporary design exhibit inspired by new hatchback

As part of its efforts to target a younger audience, BMW tapped into contemporary design for the September U.K. launch of its 1-Series hatchback with an art exhibition inspired by the car. Exhibits included a glowing car in a dark corner and a shoe designed from pieces of the 1-Series.

With the 1-Series, BMW is competing for the first time in the smaller hatchback market and at a lower price than its other models. BMW's U.K. media agency, Aegis Group's Vizeum, was charged with appealing to a younger, more urban and stylish audience-and more women-than the usual BMW profile.

After identifying contemporary design as a common theme, Vizeum teamed up with Intersection, a magazine that blends cars and culture and is aimed at a stylish young audience. The agency and magazine devised "CARPARC1," an exhibition featuring commissioned installations inspired by the BMW 1 Series, including fashion, photography, film, projection, jewelry, architecture and furniture design.

The exhibition event was held in two spots: a London multistory parking lot and an unused custard factory in Birmingham. Creative opinion-formers from the worlds of fashion, design and photography were invited. More than 1,000 people attended the London event.

BMW reaped wide media coverage and Andrew Mortimer, the BMW account director at Vizeum, said early data show that people registering their interest in the 1-Series on BMW's site are younger and include more women than usual, as well as people trading up from rival brands. A brochure by Vizeum based on the events will go out this month as a supplement to Intersection.