BMW brought crop circles to China for the first time this summer in a viral campaign to generate publicity for their new 'Unique For One' range - abbreviated name, UFO.
The campaign, orchestrated by Shanghai production company Tribe together with Interone BBDO, is the largest BTL campaign for BMW China to date. It began by seeding a series of three virals, fake photos and eye witness stories about an alien crop circle being discovered in the Qinghai Province, North West China. The virals were shot 'Blair Witch' style and involved a group of friends stumbling across the crop circles whilst hiking and driving through the area.
Three days later, BMW circulated a fake news report (shown here) and reports started appearing on TV, press and websites throughout China and internationally. Eventually, a 'reveal' video showing how the circles were made (using BWS and GPS) broke on BMW's Weibo (China's Twitter) feed and Tuduo sites, and was viewed over 18 million times in the following three weeks. For the final stage of their campaign, running until December, consumers were invited join a BMW 1 Series driver challenge event, with the chance for two people to win BMWs to drive for a year.