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BMW Marketing Chief Dan Creed Talks Agencies, Consumer Priorities at New York Auto Show

Half a Year Into His New Post, He's Enthusiastic About the Road Ahead

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Dan Creed had a busy first few months in his post as VP-marketing of BMW North America: He assumed responsibility for marketing as well as product planning and strategy in the U.S. last October, shortly after the accidental death of his predecessor, Jack Pitney, and at a time when the auto marketer had just parted with Omnicom Group's GSD&M, a split initiated by the agency. And one of Mr. Creed's first decisions was to have the company return to the Super Bowl after a 10-year hiatus, so anticipation for that was high.

As the former VP-aftersales at the company explained to Ad Age at the New York International Auto Show this week, with that break-in period behind him, he's enthusiastic about the luxury auto marketer's product lineup and plans moving forward. Last month the company launched a comprehensive review for U.S. creative work, which Mr. Creed said he hopes to have completed toward the end of the summer. As post-recession consumers -- not unlike pre-recession consumers -- seek luxury cars that deliver not only on performance but on a "visceral emotion," he said, BMW is well-positioned with a "two-year product offensive" that now includes a new 7 series, a new 5 series and a new X3, positioned behind him during our talk.

Responsible for marketing as well as product planning and strategy in the U.S., the native Canadian brings several years of experience within BMW, beginning in 1996 as sales and marketing training manager for BMW Canada.

At the show, he explained what BMW is looking for in a creative agency for its estimated $160 million account; why -- though it hasn't yet committed to next year's game -- the Super Bowl this year delivered for the brand; why it's promoting its manufacturing operations in Spartanburg, S.C.; and what his first car was (hint: It wasn't the Ultimate Driving Machine. And it's not what he drives now).

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